How should we respond to the events in our life that are unexpected or unwanted?
Nothing comes into your habitat. It wasn't planned. Even though you might not feel prepared for it, he prepared it for you. He who spoke the worlds into existence.
He who delivered the first word is the one who deserves to have the last word. It's true that many times things take us by surprise. There are events and circumstances that we didn't anticipate, and frankly, we often face things that we wish we didn't. When that happens, we need to remember the truth that nothing is a surprise to God, and that He actually plans and controls our circumstances.
This is Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey. Today, Stephen wants you to remember two things. Things that are beyond our comprehension are never beyond God's, and things that are beyond our control are never beyond God's. This message is called, To the Zoo and Back. See, the point is this, the care and the arrangement by the Father for the animal kingdom is intended to be an encouraging illustration of the amazing care and arrangement of the Father for His highest creation, mankind.
Now we're living in a day, if you ask the average person if the tree is more important than a human being, they're going to have to stop and think about it. They don't know. God moves with Job's memory from the strong to the skittish to the shy. Look at the first verse of chapter 39. Job, do you know the time the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the deer? Can you count the months? Do you know their gestation period? They kneel down and bring forth their young to rid themselves of labor pain. They grow up in the open field, they become strong, leave and do not return to them. Job, do you know, have you been able to follow it from beginning to end?
Of course, the obvious answer is no to all of the above. These shy creatures stay away from our view. Deer, they hide during the day and in the night they come out along Yeats Mill Pond Road. You can see them all there as I pull down the driveway through a cluster of trees off Yeats Mill where my mother-in-law lives. It's not unusual to see three or four deer literally race in front of me and off into the woods. These shy creatures.
Job, I see them. It's God's point. All the time, their ways are not hidden from me. God moves from the shy to the stubborn. Look at verse 5. Who sent out the wild donkey free? Who loosed the bonds of the swift donkey? To whom I gave the wilderness for a home. I gave him the salt land for his dwelling place. He scorns the tumult of the city and the shoutings of the driver he doesn't even hear.
He explores the mountains for his pasture and searches after every green thing. Job, has the donkey ever asked you for permission to roam? Did you cut it loose, this wild thing?
No. Truth is, Job, you know you can hardly tell donkey anything. It's kind of interesting. He says here they don't even hear the shoutings of the driver. You try to tame them.
They don't even hear. Listen, God is implying I determine their habitat. I have been the one to give them permission. I have written into them a desire for the place where they now live. God is implying to Job, I have determined your habitat.
I know where you live and it's part of my plan. And it only comes about through my permission and providence. From the strong to the skittish to the shy, the stubborn.
Notice the sturdy. Verse 9, will the wild ox consent to serve you? Is he going to spend the night in your barn?
At your manger? Can you bind him? Can you make him pull a plow? Obviously the answer is no.
He can't do any of those things. Now the animal here is not the oxen that you would imagine in front of some plow. The authorized version translates this word unicorn. But even that animal, which is extinct, wasn't a pretty horse with a cute little pointed horn. Most Old Testament scholars believe this animal he's referring to here, the same animal, is now extinct.
It was known in the Middle Ages, in fact, called in the Middle Eastern areas an auroch. The bull, auroch, was more than six feet wide from shoulder to shoulder with long horns pointed forward. Imagine a Texas steer the size of a rhinoceros and you've got the image.
From shoulder to shoulder he would have been wider than this disc, pointed horns. This is the animal David asked in Psalm 22 verse 11 to be delivered from its horns from death by auroch, attack. Extinct, according to records, since 1627. This enormous animal was considered in its day to be the most powerful hoofed beast, hunted by the Assyrians. In fact, I found it interesting in my research that the Egyptian Pharaoh, Thutmose III, who reigned in Egypt 1,500 years before the birth of Christ, once boasted, and we have his boast extent, boasted of killing 75 aurochs in a hunt. Sounds like an animal out of a Tolkien novel, doesn't it?
Well, in fact, it is. Tolkien used the name auroch for a fierce land creature. So these are not the domesticated oxen that Job would have used in his field.
This was a wild animal that could kill a man a dozen different ways. God asks the question, Job, do you think you can tame an auroch? Can you harness him? Can you make him pull a plow in a straight line?
The answer is absolutely not, and I wouldn't even want to try. God is implying to Job, look, if I can direct the wild donkey, and I can direct the auroch in any other wild, fierce creature in my creation, then I just might be able to control the wild chaos in your life. I can harness that to bring about my purpose. To those who don't believe, God was answering Job. Oh, he was answering him in the rich analogies of his created world. Now he moves from the sturdy to the strange.
In fact, he stops, I should say, for a moment asking questions and just makes statements. Look at verse 13. The ostrich's wings flap joyously with the pinion and plumage of love. She abandons her eggs to the earth, warms them in the dust or the sand. She forgets that a foot may crush them or that a wild beast may trample them. She treats her young cruelly as if they were not hers, though her labor be in vain. She's unconcerned.
Why? God made her forget wisdom. He's not given her a share of understanding. God made her this way, but what an odd bird. In fact, the largest living bird there is, weighing up to 300 pounds, standing as tall as some eight feet, is the only bird with eyelashes.
Go figure that out. She has wings, but she can't fly. Instead, she builds her nest in the sand. Now, the comment in verse 16, look back there, that she treats her young cruelly as if they were not her own is probably a reference to the fact that before she buries her eggs in a shallow hole in the sand, usually dug by the male, she keeps some of the eggs out next to the nest, which will be used as food for the chicks who hatch. Her basic ignorance and lack of qualities were legendary among the Arabs. In fact, Pliny, the first century Roman naturalist and author, was among the first to write of an ostrich hiding its head and neck in the bush, thinking they were safe from predators, which of course gives us our caricature of ostriches hiding their heads in the what?
In the sand, thinking they're now safe. But notice, verse 18, for all her ignorance, she is exhilarating to watch as she, a bird, runs. When she lifts herself on high, she laughs at the horse and his rider. In other words, this strange creation, one thing she can do better than most animals on the planet is run. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but there are only a handful of animals that can run faster than an ostrich.
Lifting her head, she extends her wings for balance and takes off running, and she can be clocked in at around 40 miles an hour, taking strides that are 15 feet apart. Her first step, if she's running this way, is in the brass section, the next step would be here, the third step over there, and she's gone, laughing all the way. Why in the world would God create something like this? You see, that, I think, is the point. It's one of God's ways of saying, I create things you can't even conceive of, stuff that doesn't make sense.
In fact, you go to the zoo and you stand there and look at an ostrich and you chuckle. Under your breath, you wouldn't say it out loud. What in the world was God thinking when he created that? The truth is, there are times in your lives when you're left wondering the same thing. You fear to utter the words out loud, but in your secret heart, you are thinking and saying, Lord, what were you thinking? What sense does this make?
It doesn't add up. There are things that go under the category of strange, and we agree with the Lord in that his thoughts are way beyond ours and his ways above our ways. God moves from the strangeness of the ostrich to now describe the stateliness of the horse. Verse 19, do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? Do you make him leap like the locusts?
His majestic snorting is terrible. His claws in the valley rejoices in his strength. He goes out, this war horse does, to meet the weapons.
He laughs at fears, not dismayed. He does not turn back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, the flashing spear and javelin, but with shaking and rage, he races over the ground. He does not stand still at the voice of the trumpet. As often as the trumpet sounds, he says, aha, a reference to his neighing, he sends the battle from afar and the thunder of the captains and the war cry. Job, who made him to be the kind of animal that would love to race into war?
Gallop over the ground, swallowing it up as he smells battle, not flinching as swords and javelins are used. The horse's majesty and energy and strength, one man wrote, his impatience for the battle and his spirit are proofs of the greatness of him who has made him. Perhaps there is the subtle hint here to Job not to run from his battle. Just as the horse is courageous in the face of conflict, maybe the implication, as one author brought out, would be the fact that God could also make Job confident as he faced his devastating battles in life. God says effectively, I have mantled and I have infused, I have delivered to this animal the information code to act like that, and I can, Job, if I can do that for a horse, I can strengthen you and cause you to stand.
By the way, we're told the same with very clear, explicit revelation from God. We have been thoroughly equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3.17. We have been given the full armor, the battle armor of God so that we may be able to resist in the evil day and having done all to stand, Ephesians 6.13. We have been given everything by God, his divine power, whatever necessary pertaining to life and godliness, 2 Peter 1, verse 3. We are empowered and equipped and outfitted for life.
Job, look, if I can outfit and equip a regal horse for battle, how much more can I equip as we read this, the sons and daughters of the king. God has reviewed the strong and the skittish, the shy, the stubborn, the sturdy, the strange, the stately. And now he describes the stunning. One more look at some amazing birds, first in verse 26, the hawk with its migratory code built into him to head south. The eagle, Job, did you command the eagle to mount up and make his nest on high?
On the cliffs, he dwells and lodges upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place. From there, he spies out his food. His eyes see it from afar. I have read and reread again in this research that the eagle's eye is an amazing thing. This is why we refer to an eagle eye.
It has eight times as many visual cells per cubic centimeter than a human eye. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Let me put it to you this way.
This is what I do understand. That an eagle flying at 600 feet elevation can watch a spider crawl across your driveway. That an eagle up in its craggy nest can watch small fish the size of your hand jump out of a lake as they splash about five miles away.
I can't see my computer screen five feet away. Now the evolutionists would say the eagle developed that eyesight because it had to. Its nest would be so high up.
No. We would believe that God gave the eagle that eyesight because it would nest so high up. God created the ostrich to put her eggs in the sand. The ostrich has never said, oh, look at that eagle.
Man, that would be fun. I wish I could lay my eggs up there. Never would the eagle think, I really wish I were down there in the sand.
I love the beach. The diversity of God's creation reveals the depth of God's creative ability. But it's really more than that, isn't it? And that's why man would rather come up with something other than a creator God, because at the end of this field trip to the zoo, God reminds Job of his accountability before him. Quickly look at chapter 40, verse 1. Then the Lord said to Job, will the fault finder contend with the Almighty?
Job is the fault finder. You want to approve me? Now give an answer. You see, several times in the earlier chapters, Job wanted an audience with God. He wanted to make his case. In fact, at one point he says, I will contend with my adversary.
I have not thrown him away. I will worship him, but I have a case I'd like to make if God would just show up. All right, Job, God showed up. You got your day in court. What do you have to say?
And Job answered, verse 3, I love this. Behold, I am insignificant. What can I reply to you?
I lay my hand over my mouth. I have nothing to say. Boy, did I want to have an audience with you, and I had a thousand things I wanted to say. But now that you're here, now that I see. I came across this interesting account of a lawyer who thought he'd found a clever way to get a leg up in court. I thought you'd enjoy this. This was a winner of the criminal lawyer's award contest. Swindoll recorded it in his commentary on this point where Job speaks to God, or basically says he has nothing to say. The article reads, a Charlotte, North Carolina lawyer, this is close to home here, purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire.
True story. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of 24 cigars, the lawyer filed claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost in a series of small fires.
The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars himself. An insurance claim against fire damages can't mean the same thing as a fire whereby he himself had consumed the cigars. But the court sided with the lawyer, and he won. In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. But, the judge stated, nevertheless, the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable, and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire without defining what was considered unacceptable fire, and thus obligated to pay the claim. To the surprise of everyone, the insurance company accepted the ruling, paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the 24 cigars lost in these fires. The lawyer was rather proud of himself, but now for the best part. After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson. He used his own testimony against him. He was, in fact, convicted of intentionally setting fire to insured property 24 different times and sentenced to two years in jail. Now, if you're a lawyer, this has nothing to do with your profession.
Keep it up, whatever you're doing. Here's a man caught. Oh, man, was he caught in his own words and testimony.
Here, here's Job literally caught. He was rather proud. They demanded an audience with God. He said in chapter 31, let the Almighty answer me. Brash words. Then God shows up, and he says in chapter 40, verse 5, I've spoken once, and I'm not going to answer even twice, and I will say absolutely nothing more.
Maybe the best time for you and for me to put our hand over our mouth is now. No more arguments with God. No more clever speeches we have planned.
Just silence, surrender, submission. Let me close by making two observations further from this chapter. They're obvious, but I want to state them because I think it's the point of this chapter. First, for the most part, the animal kingdom is beyond our comprehension, not God's. From the strong to the stately, God comprehends all. From the skittish to the strange, God has designed every strand of DNA for his purposes and his glory.
Secondly, for the most part, the animal kingdom is not only beyond our comprehension, but it is beyond our control, not God's. Beloved, just as God has not lost track of his creation, he has not lost track of you. You can't slip around a bend and wonder, has he lost sight of you? He sees all the way up to the craggy nest. He sees us with our head in the bush. He knows all, everything about you.
Nothing comes into your habitat that wasn't planned. Even though you might not feel prepared for it, he prepared it for you. So this trip to the zoo and back should leave us, I hope, a little more like Job, with our hand over our mouths, silenced before him, with deep appreciation and renewed surrender to our creator, God. He who spoke the worlds into existence.
Listen, he who delivered the first word is the one who deserves to have the last word in your life and mine. That was Stephen Davey in a message called, To the Zoo and Back. Stephen is the president of Wisdom International.
He's our Bible teacher on this daily program and also teaches the Wisdom journey. During this month of May, we have a free resource to celebrate and encourage mothers. Stephen has a booklet called Motherhood in a variety of settings. Mothers are consistently underpaid, often undervalued, and many times taken for granted. In this book, Stephen offers words of encouragement to moms.
You're not alone. In fact, God delivered some encouraging truths, especially for moms. Those truths are revealed in the home life of a mother named Eunice. This is a free digital download that you can download from our website. Go to wisdomonline.org forward slash mom for information. There's a link on the home page that will direct you. We do have a print version of this booklet as well, but the digital book is free today and is available at wisdomonline.org forward slash mom. While you're there on our website, I encourage you to look around. That website is filled with discipleship resources that will encourage you and your faith. All of Stephen's Bible teaching content is available there. As you make use of those resources, God will use the power of His word to transform your life.
I hope you visit that website often. In addition to equipping you with these daily Bible lessons, we also have a magazine that we publish. Stephen deals with a different topic each month and helps you better understand what the Bible says and how it applies directly to your life. For example, some past topics have included such things as how to forge friendships. What can we know about angels, demons, and the spirit world? How can we have a biblically based marriage? What is church discipline all about and church restoration and how should it be used?
And much more. The magazine also has a daily devotional guide that you can use to remain rooted and grounded in God's word every day. A new addition to the magazine is a journal. The journal gives you the opportunity to take some notes as you listen to the wisdom journey or wisdom for the heart. We call the magazine Heart to Heart. This is a resource that we developed for two reasons.
We use it to show our appreciation to all of our wisdom partners. We also send three issues of Heart to Heart magazine as a gift to everyone who asks. We'd like to send it to you if you haven't seen it yet. You can sign up for it on our website. Go to wisdomonline.org forward slash magazine. That's wisdomonline.org forward slash magazine. Thanks for joining us today. We're going to continue through this section of Job on our next broadcast. Be sure and join us next time right here on Wisdom for the Heart. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-09 00:47:21 / 2023-05-09 00:56:43 / 9