This post is an excerpt from my latest book, You Can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids from the chapter entitled “The Bible.”
The reason I sometimes grow weary of the Bible is because I’ve heard thousands of sermons about it, so much so, that the life has been leached from it. I now know all the “correct” interpretations of various passages. I know the Greek and Hebrew words. I’ve heard all the illustrations, pulled from sermon illustration books. All this has led me to have a rather myopic view of the Scriptures, stripped of its majesty like a lion shorn. But then I read the book of Job and everything changes. Why? Because I realize how very wee my brain is and how utterly “other” God is. How can I possibly know everything there is to know about the Bible? Isn’t that an arrogant thing to think? How could I possibly navigate all its mysteries?
Job questioned God.
And God responded by asking him questions like:
- “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand” (Job 38:4).
- “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb?” (Job 38:8).
- “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?” (Job 38:12).
- “Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?” (Job 38:17).
- “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?” (Job 38:31).
- “Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?” (Job 38:36).
On and on God goes, asking Job impossible questions, questions no mere man could answer in a hundred lifetimes. Job was humbled by the sheer fact that God was big and he was not. How he responded to God’s pages of questions was this: “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3).
The Bible is mysterious because its Author is beyond our minds. John the Baptist summed it up well when he said of Jesus, “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. I am of the earth, and my understanding is limited to the things of the earth, but he has come from heaven” (John 3:31, NLT). How can we possibly explore the depths of God’s word when we are of this earth and our knowledge is finite?