Why did King Edward VII receive the Star of Africa? That rock has probably cost more to guard than it’s worth.  Why was it given to him as a birthday present? He knew he was only a cog in the wheel, accepting treasure on behalf of the Crown.

When your child holds out a handful of dandelions, why does your heart swell and your face break into a glowing smile? When your father gives you a gift certificate to your favourite shoe store, why do you jump and dance with glee?

Are they bribing you?  Are you preoccupied with the usefulness of a bunch of squashed flowers from a pudgy warm hand?  Do you think, ‘Oh Dad, those sparkly boots with the 12 inch heels will come in handy with my homework.’

God receives from us.  Not as a bribe to bless us.  Not because what we give is useful.

We give to God to express our sense of His worth.  He receives because He doesn’t have to be humble about how much He means to us.  He is constantly looking for reasons to boast about us, this is what He did about Job, and the biggest reason He has to do that is our boasting about Him, honouring Him, declaring our need before Him.

God does not need us. He is self-sustaining, even in relationship. The Trinity provides within that circle all the love that is possible. Father worships Son and Spirit, Spirit worships Father and Son, Son worships Spirit and Father. etc.
God reaches out and draws us into that relationship. We are one in Him. When we worship, give glory, thanks and honour, and rail in honest suffering, we join in the mystery. We are lifted to a place of honour beyond our capacity.

God received Job’s suffering like King Edward VII received that diamond, like you receive those dandelions or gift card, with a full heart feeling the love.

Teddi Deppner gave this awesome summation in the comments to the previous post: “And once God showed up and spoke, Job had an encounter that no doubt transformed his motivation for worship and obedience for the rest of his life. Instead of honoring God out of fear of punishment, now he would do it out of reverence for who God is, and how worthy He is of respect / honor / obedience.”  Thank you Teddi!  I couldn’t have said it better!

 

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9 thoughts on “Diamolions.

  1. “We give to God to express our sense of His worth.” Yes! So much this. And it is why my outpouring of expression about Him is so endless: there’s always more to tell.

    I’ve so much enjoyed pondering these things with you. For the first time in all my life, I appreciate the book of Job, and can embrace the man whole-heartedly and overlook his flaws — because God did. My old way of looking at this book of the Bible was steeped in the traditional Old Testament view of God as wrathful avenger, holy and fearsome and unapproachable. In my mind before, God judged Job and “taught him a lesson” by allowing terrible punishment to befall him.

    My views of God have grown a lot in the past two decades, and this time reading through Job, I finally caught a glimpse of the God that Jesus showed us when He came to make the Father’s will manifest and to become “the express image of His [God’s] person” (Hebrews 1:3). He loved Job. He had confidence in Job’s loyalty. He lovingly showed up to tell Job and his friends that they didn’t know everything about who He was and how the world worked, and He forgave them for their ignorance and rewarded Job for his faithfulness.

    Job had a life-changing encounter with his God, and we gained a fascinating glimpse at how God dealt with His people early on, outside of the Mosaic covenant and before the blood of Jesus.

    There’s a mystery, too, in the way suffering for righteousness’ sake allows us to enter into the experience that the Godhead partook when Jesus suffered on the cross. Job’s friends were convinced he had sinned, but Job was “blameless” and “upright” in God’s eyes — it was Job’s righteousness that made him stand out, and made him a target for the adversary.

    There are so many riches in every book of the Bible. In every verse. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I learn something “new” from the book of Job. 🙂

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    • Oh Teddi! My heart sings with praise as I read your words. Praise God who reveals Himself in glimpses and gently, not all in a flash like we sometimes beg Him to. Praise God for using His Word, His Living Word to speak to us where we are, each one of us personally and intimately!
      I am interested in your allusion to ‘the traditional Old Testament view of God as wrathful avenger, holy and fearsome and unapproachable.’ I did not grow up with this view. What is the background of this tradition?

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      • Sorry for the long delay in my reply! I don’t know all the history behind that sort of religious tradition, but I see it in many denominations and older teaching materials (bible related books and children’s books in thrift stores and church libraries). Catholics, evangelical groups, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. I’m not saying all of them everywhere believe this, or that it is as prevalent as it used to be.

        But even in the churches where they teach grace and that we’re forgiven, there are a lot of little things Christians say and pray that indicate they still think God is judging them (or nations), punishing them, that He “cannot have sin in His presence”, that having sin in your life means He won’t listen to your prayers, etc.

        For me personally, I was raised in a denomination that spun off from 7th Day Adventists and which focused primarily on the Old Testament as a guide for behavior and understanding of who God is. We kept all the old Jewish holy days and dietary laws, and the tenets of the old covenant (obey and you are blessed, disobey and you are punished) were deeply ingrained. Over the years, God has continued the process of peeling off these layers of thinking so I can see Him more clearly. Still in process! 🙂

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      • Oh boy yes! Still in process! Couldn’t say it better myself.
        There are studies that say 7th Day Adventists live longer and are healthier because of their dietary code. It’s strange that Jewish people who follow it too are not mentioned. I expect you are taking all the good things from your natal tradition, and sloughing off the legalism gently. 🙂

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      • I’ve been thinking about this. God cannot have sin in His presence. That’s why Jesus died. We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. When the Father looks at us He sees Jesus.
        I could behave in all the correct manners to be devoid of sin, and still BE sin in God’s presence. Sure, I’m going to try my best, but I’m not going to exclude myself or anybody else when sin enters the picture because Jesus died and rose and ascended to the right Hand of the Father. He lives to make intercession for me. Romans 8:34 has been a cornerstone for me.

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