Only God Can
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Only God Can
Job 38:1-7, 34-41
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Our passage in Hebrews today speaks of the role of the high priest. This was a man chosen among the people and by the people to represent the people in all matters related to them and their relationship with God. The priest was the one who would stand in the gap between the sins of the people and of the wrath of God by offering sacrifices to cover the sins of the people. Because the priest himself is subject to his own sin he is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are allowing themselves to be led astray. This is why they must make sacrifices for their own sins as well as for the sins for the people. This position was not chosen by the man but was ordained by God just as it was with Aaron the first high priest. However, the problem was that the sin problem would never end in the priestly appointed line. Through out history sin would abound and sacrifices were made o cover the sin. However, one was chosen who would be the only one who could more than cover the sins but truly wash them away. He is our priest forever more. For only he can do what all others could not do.
Our passage in Job this morning is probably my favorite part in Job. This is where God appears and breaks his silence and tells everyone what is what. God talks about men who have words without knowledge. These men, Job’s friends, and even Job a bit believe that they each understand how the world works. The way they talk to Job it is almost as if they talk as if they are speaking for God themselves. Have you ever met a person like that who believes that they can tell you what God really thinks about you and your actions or path and life? Such people even speak as if their word is God’s word. This is kind of what we see with Job’s friends and especially the youngest one who was the last to speak. He was probably the most arrogant out of all of them.
It seems that God finally has enough of watching all of what is happening in this situation with Job and God finally speaks. He basically tells them “Who do you think you are?” “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?... Who marked off its dimensions?” Have you ever thought about the size of the earth? Why is it not bigger or smaller? The truth is that the size of the planet and the amount and type of gases in the atmosphere and the position of the planet in relation to the sun is perfect for sustaining life. Anything different and life would probably not exist here. However, we have life here and science of today cannot explain how and why things are the way they are or how they got the way they are however, this passage in the book of Job explains all of it.
“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt. (v.8-11).” “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’ (v.34-35)?” We know from the observation of weather currents and of weather changes that lighting is produced by the static of atoms clashing together during a storm. Massive amounts of energy are produced from this and we have no power or control over this. The only thing we can do is observe what is happening. When the disciples were in a boat with Jesus and he was sleeping through a terrible storm, all the disciples could do is observe and fear the events that were happening. However, there was one who could actually do something about it and he did. He commanded the weather to change and it obeyed. By doing this Jesus proved that he was God for as God is explaining to us in the passage of Job, only God can do all of these things and did all of these things and continues to do them today.
In the book of Mark chapter 10 starting in verse 35, James and John make a request of Jesus. They ask that they may sit on either side of Jesus in his kingdom. Jesus explains that they don’t understand what it is that they are asking. Jesus asks them if they can “drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with? Jesus is given his place of glory because of what he is to experience and suffer. Therefore, what Jesus is asking them in return is whether they can and are willing to suffer and experience what he came to the world to suffer and experience. Of course, as they have been protected at this time, they say that they can and believe that they can which is much easier said than done. Jesus then explains that they will eventually experience the same suffering for His name as history records that they did however, Jesus does not have the authority to grant this place next to him. Jesus says, “These places belong to those for whom the have been prepared.” This means that this place and those who will sit on Jesus’ left and right have already been determined and the place has been prepared for them. The one who has this authority is the Father which again means that only God can determine who sits on the left and the right in His glory.
The rest of the disciples of course are upset that John and James would ask such a thing for themselves. After all, what makes them so special that they could ask such a thing from Jesus. It’s just not fair as all of them have followed Jesus just as John and James have. In seeing them beginning to quarrel with one another Jesus gathers them together and explains that they are looking at all of this in the wrong way. For there are those who have authority and do rule over others and really lord over their power over people. However, Jesus wants to see something different from his disciples. Whoever wants to become great among them all will be the one who serves the most. If they want to be held up to a higher status in His kingdom then they must take up the lowest status on earth. For even Christ though he is king and rightfully the ruler of the universe, he did not come to be served by man and to rule over man but instead he came to be a servant to man.
A lot has changed over the years in our culture, in our world view, and in the way, man perceives the universe to function. In the early days of scientific study and discovery, science was used a tool to attempt to understand how God held everything together and how he created things to function. One would look at a plant grow and would observe the process of a dead and dried up seed beginning to sprout out life. One would look at an apple fall to the ground and determine that there is a constant force that hold us to the ground, that God created a system in which matter would be drawn together. However, in our current times it seems we look at the science only and use it to attempt to explain that God does not exist or that we do not need God. However, there is a problem with that. We can only observe what is happening. We cannot create matter out of nothing. We cannot create atoms and speak them into existence. We cannot make a giant oak grow from a tiny seed nor can we explain what causes the seed and the cells to activate. All we can do is observe what is happening. We cannot hold our atmosphere together so that we can breathe and be protected from the Sun’s harmful rays. We cannot create life on our own. The most we have ever been able to do is produce a few protein blocks within a toxic environment. The reason that we can only observe and cannot do any of these things is because Only God Can. The world seems to have fallen asleep to this understanding. The world seems to take all of the systems of the universe for granted and they refuse to give credit to the one who put all of these systems into place. Only God Can make a baby develop in its mother’s womb. It has been attempted to do so outside of the womb but it has been proven impossible to do. This is because only God can. In fact, this is how he created the first man outside of a mother’s womb. He created him from the dust of the earth. This is the thing that we need to always remember when we think we can do better than God. Only God Can.