I’m probably pushing the boundaries of “rightly dividing the word” this morning as two somewhat random thoughts from two very opposite readings come together to form one awe-invoking meditation.
First thought . . . book of Job . . . chapter 38 . . . Yes! I read the book of Job to get to chapter 38. That part of the drama where God holds His silence no more . . . where He ends the debate between Job and his not-so-much comforters . . . their dialogue giving way to a monologue from heaven’s throne itself . . . God revealing Himself in all His might, power, and wisdom. And, out of the gate, God asks Job a question . . .a question which echoes through the ages for all who have ears to hear . . . a question spoken to me . . . where were you?
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to Me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? . . . ” (Job 38:1-4 ESV)
It’s the question that causes complacent familiarity with the Divine to flee. The question that reminds me that, though I enjoy an intimate relationship with the God of heaven and earth, I should not presume upon Him as I would a mortal friend, nor think that I can debate Him as I would a peer. That in His willingness to be known, I should guard against any arrogance which thinks I fully know Him and thus contend with Him when His ways mis-align with mine. That though He, in His grace, allows me to call Him, “Abba Father,” I should never lose sight that He is the God of the universe, nor utter His name with inappropriate carelessness.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Not there.
But then I’m reading in Revelation 17. The kings of the earth are gathering to make war on the Lamb. Despite the bowls of God’s wrath poured out on a world in rebellion, men refuse to repent . . . continue to curse . . . and, under the deceiving leadership of the beast, the nations of earth come to make war on the Creator of the earth. And what catches my attention are those who are with the Lamb . . .
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful. (Revelation 17:14 ESV)
While none of us who would be born again into the family of God were there in the beginning, it is evident that members of His blood bought bride will be present in the end. The Word who was in the beginning . . . the Word who was with God . . . the Word who was God . . . He who was in the beginning . . . through Whom all things were made . . . and “without Him was not any thing made that was made” . . . that same Jesus will, at the end of time, be revealed as the Lord of lords and King of kings. And with Him will be those who are the called . . . and the chosen . . . and the faithful. There you are!
I don’t know if Revelation 17 speaks specifically of those martyred during the great tribulation . . . or whether those who accompany Jesus will be a representative sample of those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb through the ages. Regardless, as a part of that body of believers, there is a sense in which all who have placed their faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross will one day join Him in His final victory over His enemies . . . and over death . . . and over sin.
Where were you? . . . There you are!
In the presence of the Creator . . . in relationship with the King.
By His grace, called, chosen, and faithful. For His glory!