August 18, 2010
“If you sin, how does that affect Him?…If you are righteous, what do you give Him, or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects only a man like yourself, and your righteousness only the sons of men.”–Job 35:6-8.
It is only out of love that God cares about our actions. The world and His will operate fine without us.
I haven’t written in a long time mostly because I hadn’t read for a long time. Fortunately, I have beautiful people around me who remind me constantly why I want to be a strong woman of God for the duration of my life. So, after a month of reading regularly, I was granted a little insight that I would now like to share.
Even those who don’t read the Scriptures have a pretty decent idea of how God operates according to Christianity. He creates; He lays out rules; He presides and eventually He will judge. Those who believe may bristle at the over-simplification; those who don’t will not be shocked by this information.
I just learned something wonderful and beautiful about the character of God regarding this whole process. This revelation is something contrary to what our nature usually believes: Judgement is a favor granted to us. The judgement humanity fears is not the power-trip of a punishment-focused God.
No, really. I promise…Ok, just hear me out.
The book of Job is an interesting one. A man well-favored by God is so firm in his faith that God grants Satan permission to tempt him in order to try to sway his loyalty. Job never turns and curses God. Job, instead, admits that God is sovereign and that all is within his control, but he does so through 35 chapters of whining and defending his own righteousness. Finally, God answers Job directly. He basically tells the whiny believer to hush. God is sovereign and Job, though righteous in his own eyes, has no right to complain about anything God chooses to do or allow.
Here’s the thing: God didn’t have to answer Job. He’s God. He could have left it to Job to figure it out on his own. God could have chosen to leave Job moaning in darkness or to be miserable and die thinking God had forsaken him.
But He didn’t.
God chose to answer. Job spends his time begging for a face-to-face meeting with God; he pleads for some way to present his defense and prove to God how righteous he is and how unfair God’s treatment of him has been. Job, though, knows that meeting God face-to-face would be overwhelming and that he really doesn’t deserve to demand any such thing. (This brings up many, very awesome verses about Jesus which you can find on the “Inspirations” page).
In Job 34:21-30, it says that “His (God’s) eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step…God has no need to examine further, that they should come before Him in judgement. Without inquiry He shatters the mighty and sets up others in their place…He punishes them where everyone can see them because they turned from following Him and had no regard for any of His way.”
You see, God’s judgement of us, granting us a “trial” that we may be made aware of our transgressions is a FAVOR to us. God gains nothing from telling us exactly what we did right and wrong. He has no need for this process because He already knows what we have done. If you add that to the belief of His perfect righteousness and sovereignty then the only possible result is perfect judgement.
Think about it: It would be like human judges being present 24 hours a day for the entire LIFE of the defendants who came before them. Would we question their judgement?
Who, then, are we to question God’s judgement?
Judgement is a gift. It may sound a little loony, but really consider the nature of God. If you believe that He is the creator, that He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent; then, you must believe that He already knows our actions and motivations. Therefore, He has no need for a formal judgement. It is only for our benefit that we may know how to better serve Him, and ultimately that we may see that we are not righteous but He is. We are only made righteous by grace.
Formal judgement isn’t granted until the end of our lives for a reason. God opens many opportunities for us to realize our transgressions on our own and correct our steps. He corrects, convicts, intervenes, reveals and reaches for us daily. However, we, in our limited capacity, still have questions which seem unanswered. God then grants us two last showings of grace. He lays out each of our deeds, thoughts and words that we may know our standing. Since no one will measure up to the standard set, Jesus will then stand in and vouch for us. His word will get us in or exclude us from heaven.
So, really, we shouldn’t fear judgement only whether or not the Son of God knows us well enough to open the gate.