Sunday, March 22, 2009

Whispers and Thunder

Job chapter 26 begins in similar fashion to the beginning of Job's other rebuttals: he sarcastically tells his friends they give rotten counsel.

But then Job goes into describe how unfathomable the power of God is, and it's one of the more beautiful passages of Scripture (although it does contain some references to near-Eastern mythology involving the slaughter of Rahab the serpent worthy of Jethro-Tullian rhapsodies . . . but I digress).

I included the above picture because of its title: "The Last Sunset of August 2007 - with lightning," which seemed to suit Job's description of God. He shows His power in nature in a way that should leave our jaws unhinged. But we so often talk about Him as if He's law or math or a Mr. Wizard experiment.

God is God. And in case you haven't noticed, His power is beyond our comprehension.

One thing I love (in a sarcastic kind of way) about science is how people throw around the term scientific fact. The great scientific minds (the real ones, not the ones I refer to as great in pitiful irony) will tell you that certainty is the stuff of fools. Too often scientists set their powers of observation above the grandeur of the wonders they observe. When they do that, their pride allows them to accept as fact things that are far beyond their comprehension or their limited scope of observation. They see very small fragments of the picture and proclaim, "Eureka!" when the full story would make them pee their pants and scream, "Eek."

Which is why I love (sans sarcasm) lightning. Scientists have a hard time studying lightning. They can't bottle it (hence the cliché). They can't recreate it. And when they try to study it up close, their equipment gets fried, or they die. Naturally, then, determining what goes on in a lightning bolt includes a fair amount of guesswork. I like lightning because it is a humbler, a truly awe-striking phenomenon. You can study it, but few people live to tell the stories of how they underestimated it during their lab work.

Job has a lot of respect for God, and it's very real. That gives me a lot of respect for Job. I'll end without any attempt at deep revelations, just a quote that really makes me think:

How faint the whisper we hear of [God]. Who then can understand the thunder of His power?—Job 26:14


  1. Hey Adam , thanks for the Monty Pythonesque humour you employ throughout your blogs ! Can really relate to stuff you say. Was sitting here having a not so productive discussion with God over what I should preach at church later today (wee hrs here) and being the "missionary speaker" in a foreign land ... Im feeling no pressure ... really .... hmmmmm well I lie ! So anyways , I am now duly inspired to speak about what God suggested in the first place ... what to do when it all goes pear shaped ..... hope the translator can translate that ! Your blurbs on Job have been very helpful and thanks for just being you ! Your sis in Christ currently serving in India , from Australia

  2. Thanks so much for that, Heather! I hope all went well. :)


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