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Finally ... A Word From God, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2023 12:00 am

Finally ... A Word From God, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 1, 2023 12:00 am

When men try to speak for God, the result is deeper confusion and sorrow on the part of the sufferer. When God speaks for Himself, the result is deeper understanding and healing.

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God's quiz is going to cover cosmology, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, zoology. He's going to ask Job about the depths of the ocean, the measurements of the earth, the origin of light, the division of light, the hydrological cycles and atmospheric elements of rain and hail, snow. Job is about to be taken to school and there's nobody else in the class but him. In the book of Job, you learn about his trials and the things he had to endure. In fact, maybe you can relate personally to some of the difficulties Job faced.

After learning about what he endured, we find a section where Job interacts with some friends who came to counsel him. But then finally, at the end of the book, God speaks and when he does, he begins by revealing himself as the creator of the universe. What are the implications of God as creator? Is that an important doctrine?

And if so, why? Stephen Davey explores God as the creator in this message called Finally, a Word from God. I was sent this article a few days ago by one of staff members, an article entitled The World's Luckiest or Unluckiest Man You Decide, a remarkable series of events in this guy's life. On a cold January day in 1962, he lived in Croatia. His name, Frane Selak, was traveling by train. It ended up jumping the tracks and plunging into an icy river, killing 17 passengers.

He, however, was able to swim to shore, suffering from a broken arm shock, bruises, but happy to be alive. One year later, in 1963, Selak was traveling when a door blew off the plane and literally sucked him out of the aircraft. A few minutes later, the plane crashed, killing all the passengers, but Selak woke up in a hospital.

He had literally landed in a haystack and ended up with only minor injuries. In 1966, he was riding on a bus and went off the road and into a river, four people killed, but not Selak. In 1970, he was driving a car that suddenly caught fire. It managed to stop and get out just before the fuel tank exploded and engulf the car in flames. It's only that funny, but in 1973, a faulty fuel pump sprayed gas all over the engine of his new car, blowing flames through the air vents. He escaped that as well. Around this time, his friends began to call him Lucky.

I guess they would. That wasn't the end of it. In 1996, he was driving on a mountain road when he came around a bend and saw a truck coming straight for him. He drove the car through a guardrail, jumped out, was snagged by a tree, and literally watched as his car exploded 300 feet below. As you read this, you, like me, are thinking, I'm never getting in a car with this guy ever.

In 2004, at the age of 75, Selak had become somewhat famous for his narrow escapes. He was hired to star in an Australian TV commercial for Doritos. He accepted, but then changed his mind and refused to fly to Sydney for filming.

The reason? He didn't want to test his luck, he said. You can hardly blame him.

I don't know of anything about that's true, but a staff member gave it to me, so I'm assuming they've checked it out. If you lived in ancient times, perhaps no more than 300 years after the flood that covered the earth and creating a new landscape and carving out the Grand Canyon and razing the mighty Himalayan mountains and all of the amazing things that came out of that catastrophe, including our amazing fossil record that recorded worldwide this sudden and traumatic event, you would have met a man named Job. His nickname would have been anything but lucky. In fact, the record of scripture tells us that his name had become a byword, that is, a nickname. He would have been, however, in this nickname, considered the most unfortunate man alive.

No miraculous escape stories for him. What made it even more traumatic is that he was a devout and sincere and faithful worshiper of God. Unknown to him, Satan had challenged Job's motive for worship.

In fact, Lucifer claimed that mankind would only worship God if God paid them off with blessings, with good things. So God effectively said to Lucifer, take away the good in Job's life and you will see genuine faith demonstrated. When he began a series of severe trials, as you know, Job made no miraculous escapes, no soft haystack to land in or tree to keep him from falling. In fact, it took about 39 seconds for the messengers to deliver the shocking news to Job that he had lost his children, his business, and his cattle. It wasn't much longer before Job lost the encouragement of his wife as well as his own health to a host of diseases and infirmities that included constant fever, pain, boils, diarrhea, vomiting, itching, loss of appetite and sleep, and deep, unrelenting grief. Throughout the course of his suffering, the heavens have remained silent. No word from God. But some of his close friends arrived from afar who sat with him for a week in stunned silence but then rose one after another to deliver a speech of condemnation and guilt.

Job would endure all of that as well. Now while his patience and his perspective toward God ebbed and flowed, his faith remained intact. Finally, in this dramatic conflict of suffering and God's silence, the condemning speeches ended and all the men sat quietly on the ash heap as if they were utterly exhausted. And Job chapter 38 now changes everything. For it was then that God spoke. Would you turn there as you are now to these amazing words of comfort beginning at Job chapter 38?

And would you notice the very first few words? Then the Lord answered Job. Aren't those great words?

When God would finally speak and you say, finally, a word from God. By the way, the word from God to Job is the word of God to you and to me. These are wonderful words, though. By the way, this is the longest speech by our Lord recorded in scripture. He will deliver amazing words of comfort but not anything like you'd expect if you're familiar with this text.

In fact, his speech will entirely surprise the average Christian who's come to expect pat answers and rather simple solutions. Would you notice how the voice of God arrives on the scene? Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. Out of the whirlwind.

Stop for a minute. Is it irony that God's voice will come from within the very same thing that took the lives of his children? Is it a subtle message that even the devastating effects of natural disasters are not apart from the controlling voice of God?

I believe so. Even though God doesn't call attention to the vehicle of his revelation in this storm, the voice of God comes. God says in verse 2, who is that that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? It's kind of a nice way of saying you guys don't know anything you're talking about.

It's good that you're quiet. Then he says to Job, now gird up the loins, gird up your loins like a man. In other words, get ready for a tough assignment. In Job's day, whenever a man began a difficult physical task or maybe needed to run or perhaps to fight, he would simply reach down and he grabbed the borders of his garment and he would pull it up between his knees and tuck it into his sash. Now he could work, he could move unhindered. He was ready for the task at hand.

God says, Job, gird up your loins like a man. In other words, there's a difficult task for you. There's a challenging test that I want to give you. I want you, he says here in this text, I want you to answer some questions I have for you and you, I'll ask and you give me some answers.

Get ready for the toughest pop quiz in human history. Verse four, here's how we'll start. First question, where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

That's a good start, isn't it? Where were you, Job, when I started everything? And Job's going to go, um, can you make this multiple choice?

No, no, no. Just give me the answer. And obviously at the very first question, Job says, what?

I don't know. Don't you hate it when a test starts with a whole bunch of questions and you don't even know the first one. You're not even sure where the guy's coming from, what this professor has in mind.

But there are questions, questions and more questions, 77 of them. You could go through your Bible and just highlight the question marks. But before we dive in, I want you to note what God does not do. God does not condemn Job.

He will guide Job. God doesn't justify himself and what he allowed. God doesn't offer any explanation for Job to consider. God doesn't even offer a word of sympathy.

God doesn't answer the question of suffering in the world, especially to someone who is experiencing so much suffering. God doesn't explain Satan's accusation. He doesn't say, Job, what you need to know is what's been happening in the heavens. You weren't aware of it.

Let me tell you what's going on. God doesn't explain here why bad things happen to good people and why good things happen to bad people. I find it incredibly fascinating that God does not provide an explanation. God will simply point to creation. Beginning in chapter 38, when God begins to speak comfort to Job, he doesn't answer any questions.

He will ask questions and in the asking provide deep answers. Now as an overview, the first speech is going to take us from chapter 38 verse one over to chapter 40 verse two. Then Job's going to give a very brief response. The second speech begins at chapter 40 verse six and carries you through to the end of chapter 41. By the way, you can check my markings, but I came up with 63 question marks, 77 questions, 34 objects of creation in these chapters. Now unlike some of our past sessions where I have covered the entire speech of say Eliphaz or Elihu spanning six chapters at a time, I want to slow the train back down. I want us to take time with this captivating response from God.

And I want you to notice as well, in fact, if you've turned to chapter 40 and you look at verse three, this is Job's first response or answer after God gives him a series of questions. He says, behold, I am insignificant. What can I reply to you? I lay my hand on my mouth. In other words, he says, I don't know the answers.

I don't know what to say. Just part of the solution. God is leading Job to understand. He arrives in this whirlwind and he delivers rapid fire in this pop quiz, one question after another. And Job at the end of a series of questions says, I don't know.

Have you ever had a pop quiz where you knew none of the answers? Not exactly your greatest moment in school, was it? When I was at Dallas, I had the privilege of eating with Dr. Dwight Pentecost, one of my favorite professors, now in his 80s, still full of energy, spry, teaching one class. He laughed when I told him about one of my embarrassing moments in seminary, which happened to be, there were a couple of them, and one of them was in his class, The Life of Christ, an amazing class. The words and works of Jesus Christ was the textbook that we used, and he had written the textbook. He came to the class without any notes. He had his Bible and his red roll book. And he would lecture for nearly two hours and he would periodically stop and he would look at his roll book and he'd call out a name.

It was a large class and I felt that I was safe until that one day when he looked at his roll book and he said, Mr. Davey. And I said, yes, sir. And he said, would you tell us the significance of Christ's answer to the Pharisees in this text before us? I didn't know the answer. And with Dr. Pentecost, you didn't bluff.

I said, I'm sorry, Dr. Pentecost, I don't know the answer. And without batting an eye, he, looking down, said, well, if you'd read your assignment for today, you would have seen the answer on page 278. Thank you, sir. Not exactly a highlight of my seminary days.

And I told him over dinner that I never forgot that event, he thought it was hilarious and laughed and I didn't think it was funny, but it was memorable. Job is about to be taken to school. And there's nobody else in the class but him, Job, yes, sir, stand and deliver the answers to these questions. Job's quiz is going to cover cosmology and oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, zoology. He's going to ask Job about the depths of the ocean, the measurements of the earth, the origin of light, the division of light, the hydrological cycles and atmospheric elements of rain and hail, snow, dew, and frost. He'll ask Job to trace the path of Orion and Pleiades. He'll even ask Job to explain the ways of animals, like the lion, the wild donkey, the hawk, the eagle, and the ostrich. God will describe the behemoth and the leviathan and say, Job, tell me how to control them. And Job will say, I don't know the answer. Is God trying to humiliate Job?

No. He's actually attempting to develop greater trust and faith in his power and sovereignty and care and grace. But think about it for a moment. Here sits a man devastated. He is diseased. He has lost his children and his health and his finances. He's bankrupt. He's bereaved. I think at this point he would have been at the edge of irretrievable, irreparable bitterness. And God says, I want you to think about an ostrich.

Consider the stars. Explain to me the ways of a wild donkey. And as I'm reading this thinking, that's not exactly what I would have expected. Why does God want to take him to the zoo? What I want to do today is simply reveal to you a little bit of why creation is more than a paragraph in our creed. Why it is absolutely necessary to your relationship with Christ and your hope in the midst of trials, why God would come to Job and take him on a tour of the universe. Ladies and gentlemen, the longest speech from God delivers to us the truth that creation and creationism is not some incidental viewpoint. It is a foundational piece of our salvation. And if that sounds to you like an exaggeration, it is only because the church has in our generation bowed to the pressure of evolution and the disregard of scripture. And so that strikes us as, does it really matter that much? I want to lay the groundwork today for why it does. I got an email from a gentleman in our church this past winter and I hung on to it.

It illustrates this very point. He wrote, my wife especially appreciates colonial when she has to be away on a Sunday, which happens periodically. Yesterday was such a Sunday.

She was in Charleston, South Carolina for the weekend and chose to attend a congregational church nearby with a friend. As it happened, yesterday was, quote, Transfiguration and Evolution Sunday, end quote for that church. You may have read in the newspaper that churches across the country are having Evolution Sunday in February in honor of Charles Darwin's birthday.

I had no idea what we've been missing here. Can you imagine churches honoring the evolutionary principles of a man rather than the creation of God? This man said in his email that the clergyman actually preached that Jesus's transfiguration was just one more step in his evolution. He said his wife ended up getting up and walking out during the sermon. Good for her.

And I hope she walked out rather loudly. The reason the average person is surprised to discover God's comfort through his creative handiwork is because the average person doesn't believe God created anything. Just all evolved with enough time and chance, or that God sort of jump started it and allowed billions of years for life to evolve.

There is no comfort in that because that is man made. It strips God of power and meaning, and it plays havoc with the words of scripture. From the very beginning pages, there isn't anything more pivotal to our faith than the very first few words of the Bible.

Say them with me. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Perhaps Satan has launched his fiercest attack against that phrase. Today theory after theory abounds.

They're not new. In fact, by 1808, there were cataloged at least 80 theories of origins. Darwin just happens to be one of them. Even those today, however, who claim to be evangelicals are holding to an old earth belief that's gaining in popularity known as framework hypothesis. This is the belief that the days of creation are simply overlapping stages of the long evolutionary process. Dr. Meredith Klein of Westminster Theological Seminary is propagating this view, and the view basically states that the days of creation in Genesis 1 are symbolic expressions that have nothing to do with time.

It's just poetry. The formation of the earth took billions of years, and the record of scripture is simply a metaphorical framework that would overlay our scientific understanding of creation. God simply guided the process of evolution. Listen, if chapter one can be written off as metaphor simply because it's too fantastic to take literally, why believe in the flood? Why believe in the Tower of Babel and the creation of distinct races? Why believe any other biblical miracle? How fantastic is the virgin birth? How fantastic is a literal physical resurrection?

How fantastic is the atonement of Christ on the cross for you? Why believe any of it? That's the point, thus defending creationism is not some secondary issue, it is vital for the believer.

In fact, let me give you three reasons why as we set the stage. Number one, without a literal creation, we have no scripture to trust. One of the best ways to interpret scripture, by the way, is to let scripture do the interpreting for us. What does the rest of scripture say about Genesis 1, for instance? Well, the scriptures repeatedly authenticate the integrity of God's creation of Adam and Eve as one example. Not amoebas that eventually evolved into a man and a woman. In fact, Jesus Christ himself said in Mark 10, verse six, but from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2, 13. It was Adam who was first created and then Eve.

In every passage of scripture referring to the Genesis account, every one of them treats creation as an historical, completed, literal event. God is the author of scripture and he was, by the way, the only eyewitness to those first movements, wasn't he? And he said it this way, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word what? Was God. He was in the beginning, the word being Christ, later on in the chapter makes it very clear, with God. Now, in case we didn't get it, he says, all things came into being through him and apart from him, nothing came into being that has come into being.

Pretty clear? Listen, every time the New Testament refers to creation, it is always to a past, completed work, an immediate work of God, not an ongoing billions of years process of evolution. In fact, the entire Old Testament system of Sabbath worship, that covenant sign hinged upon a literal understanding of a six-day creation for, as Exodus 20, 11 records, in the six days, the Lord made the heavens, not six eons, not six sessions of billions of years, but six days. The Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them and then rested on the seventh day.

So therefore, Israel, you do likewise. Without creation, we have no scripture to fully trust. Secondly, without creation, we have no gospel to preach. When the apostles went out and preached, we tend to forget the fact that they were preaching to an evolutionary pantheistic culture.

Buddhism had already reached the Mediterranean world by the time of Christ and you throw in the Stoics and the Gnostics who believe neither in one supreme personal God, creating God nor in special creation. These were the scholars and the philosophers of Paul's day and you go back and you read through their messages to their culture and it is laced with the truth of creationism. Acts 14, in Lystra, Paul cried out to these philosopher scholars that assembly, we preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.

How? I wasn't there. But he said, according to scripture, he spake and it was done. Psalm 33, verse nine. Isn't that an amazing truth from God's word today?

All God has to do is speak and things that did not exist come into existence. Stephen has more to teach you from this passage in Job and he'll return to conclude this message on our next broadcast. In the meantime, we'd enjoy interacting with you in other ways. Our address is Wisdom International, P.O. Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. When you write, be sure and let us know where you live and how you listen. That address again is Wisdom International, P.O. Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. You can learn more about Stephen and his ministry by visiting wisdomonline.org. I'm Scott Wiley. Thanks for listening and join us next time right here on Wisdom for the Heart. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-01 00:50:18 / 2023-05-01 00:59:50 / 10

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