Friday, June 18, 2021

Proper 7


June 20, 2021
Job 38: 1-11
What God’s Greatness say about you?

Today we look at our humanity in the perspective of God’s glory; his majesty and power. We can see this when it is evidenced by the Father’s creation. Most often, we tend to think of ourselves in relation to others. Yet, do we ever stop and think of ourselves with respect to God?

The LORD God lets Job know about His greatness in His power of creation.

With the Father’s creative power as a background, we see ourselves as we really are. This morning’s Old Testament lesson asks us to consider, what God’s greatness says about you and me.

1.    We see a human as temporal – Vs. 4

A.                  To make Job realize his humanness, finiteness and smallness, God asks, “Where were you? Where were you at the time of creation?” (v.4)  Obviously to be there at the dawn of time – or before there was such a thing as time; or a “sun, moon and stars which mark time - would simply mean that man was eternal, yet we humansare temporal. We are born in time, we live in time, (Psalm 90:10) and we end in time.

What some refer to as our “time of grace.”  In eternity, we will live forever - yet on this earth, our days are numbered.

B.       “Where were you when the sea was put in its boundaries?” the Lord asks. If you were not there – how then can you know or understand God’s power and wisdom? His way is beyond and past finding out. God is to humans incomprehensible.

Transition: Man is temporal. We may ask, “Why then does God allow a good person to suffer?” No one knows. The finite is incapable of the Infinite. This is the first supposition in religious thought. We simply cannot presume to know the mind and the will of God. He is higher than we are.  Yet, you can trust that the Father knows what He is doing. 

2.    We see humans as finite – Vs. 5 “Who marked off its dimensions? Surely, you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?”

A.       The Lord calls Job to an account. Who can answer God? Can Job, or any man, stand before God in light of his sin? Our sins rise before us. They condemn us.

B.       Because man is finite and God is Infinite God is too great for man’s comprehension. Job realizes his insignificance and is quiet – he is shut up in silence.

C.       There is no answer to why the righteous suffer. The Lord does not give Job the answer to his question. Why do bad things happen to good people? Is it left to fate? Does man deserve what he gets? Is God somehow out to get even?

Transition: This question has been asked for centuries. We can only trust in the power, wisdom and goodness of God.

3.    We see a human as powerless – Vv. 8-11

A.       Luther best summed up man’s utter helplessness in these words, “I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily and abundantly forgives all my sins, and the sins of all believers, and on the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant eternal life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true.” [1] 

B.       Because of this condition – the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ into time and space to be our Savior. Paul put it this way, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”  Romans 5:6-9

John would remind us “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” It was your flesh; your mortality that the Word took on, it was your flesh that the Lord of Life made himself a beggar.  Patiently, he assumed your frail weak flesh as he hid his divinity in your humanity so that you might once again learn to love him, to have the image of God restored. 

I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me. I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am’ to a nation that was not called by my name, I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people says the LORD in the Book of Isaiah. The maker of heaven and earth begging for a rebellious people to return to him, so that he might love them.

Yet it wasn’t enough only to know that this world is broken and that the righteous suffer so often indiscriminately. Knowing we are helpless only goes so far.

Instead, the Savior left his throne, set apart his divinity, took upon himself your flesh, and dwelt among us; actively seeking you out, redeeming you by the patience of his love, allowing himself to be known to us not in a burning bush or a pillar of fire; not in the parting of season or in the creation of the sun, moon, or stars; instead he became human.

Your poverty became his. Your impatience became his. Your anxiety his own. Your disease his own. Your anger his own. And perhaps, most importantly, your sins became his. All in patience, all kin love; the invisible God becomes visible, for us men, and for our salvation; Christ was made man.

He bore your sin in his own body so that in your weakness you may look to him and live. The pinnacle of God's wisdom is His plan of salvation that culminated in the Cross and the Blood of the Lamb shed for you.  The incredible love of the Father for you is a love that knows no end.

Like Job, our pathetic intellect cannot compare to God's wisdom.  We must repent of the constant attempts of our sinful flesh to darken God's wisdom.

No matter how many times God speaks to us out of the whirlwind of His Law, our sinful nature still wants to ignore the Law.  No matter how many times we drown our old Adam, he keeps coming up for air.  The Word of God shows us a clear path to follow, but our weak flesh keeps steering us crooked.

This is why we need to be constantly taught by the Gospel of grace: We cannot be faithful to God.  He must be faithful for us.  We cannot do all the things we must.  So He does them for us.

The same God who set limits on the sea and controls the waves, He has created even more marvelous in you.  He who brought forth life in the sea has brought forth life from the waters of Baptism in you.  He who knows every drop of water in every ocean, He gave His Son and sent His Spirit so that He could know you eternally.

Everything the LORD created, from the tiniest to the grandest, from the most beautiful to the most powerful, among all the wonders of God's masterwork of the universe, the great treasure that He cherishes above all things is you.  He did not send His Son to die for any other part of His Creation.  He sent Christ in human flesh to redeem you.

Job learned of the vastness of God; the enormity of his power. Today you are reminded of his clemency, his rescue, His mercy His grace. And grace trumps all; for his mercy endures forever.[1]

Passive Sentences –6%
Readability – 80.8%
Reading Level -5.2


 [1]Tappert, T. G. © 2000, 1959. The book of Concord: The confessions of the evangelical Lutheran church (The Small Catechism: II, 6). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.


[1]  Portions  of this homily credited to Andrew Eckert, Wellston, OK;  Trinity 4 Ken Kelly, Johnstown,  PA Christmas Day

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