What Do You Know?

“Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'” Jeremiah 33:2-3

What does man really know? He thinks he knows a great deal. He sees things around him and makes suppositions and theories, but in the end, starting from himself he knows so very little. Comparably. That is one of the main lessons of the book of Job. After he and his friends banter and theorize the whys and wherefores of Job’s great fall from wealth and health, and with all their posturing about how and why this could happen, ultimately they really didn’t know very much at all, though to a man, they each thought they had the final answer. But then came God. The fascinating tack He took in response to their posturing was to deliver a series of questions, by my count 93 probing questions, besides the other descriptions of God’s omnipotence, a monumental series of questions revealing all the things these mere men didn’t know or consider about God and His creation. Just read four of the last five chapters, where the Divine perspective is pronounced. The following is just a sampling of questions Job (and all mankind) should ponder when he feels he knows it all:

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Job 38:5 Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?
Job 38:6 “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 38:18 “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.
Job 38:19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place,
Job 38:20 That you may take it to its territory And that you may discern the paths to its home?

Job 38:31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?
Job 38:32 “Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites?
Job 38:33 “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?
Job 38:34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you?
Job 38:35 “Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, ‘Here we are’?
Job 38:36 “Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind?

We humans love puzzles, though, and that on its face is how this life appears. Merely starting and ending with the things that are visible life becomes a vast puzzle, but ultimately an unsolvable puzzle because the key lies outside his perception. But that doesn’t seem to bother man, of course, and since God has embedded in man His spirit, even if it is only a cold ember, he feels compelled to pursue the mystery of life. Why are we here? What’s it all about? Mankind has evaluated all that he sees and has jumped to all kinds of conclusions, many elaborate, many elegant, many conflicting. Paul in his letter to the Romans summed up this pursuit, “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Rom 1:22) simply because they have rejected the key to solving the puzzle, and think that in man all things begin and end.

This is not to say that with the gift of God mankind should not explore and exercise his intellect and try to solve the puzzles. We would be less than human if we didn’t ponder and reflect, and explore, for the benefit of humanity. But it is in only realizing the limitations of the narrow spectrum of reality that we can detect through our senses that we must in honesty search with other senses to find the meaning behind the material world.

From the very beginning life was a two part proposition, the world of the physical and the world of the spiritual. Man was given eyes to see the physical, and a soul to see the spiritual, eyes to see the creation and the soul to perceive knowledge of the One who created him and everything else. But when the life of the spirit was rejected in the Fall, so too was the comprehension of the key to the puzzle of life. Which is why for man to really know the things of this world, he needs to call to God and have Him explain those things that are beyond the limited capacity of eyesight. The astounding thing is that He is there and He is not silent,1 and has permitted Himself to be found by those who seek Him and call upon Him.

So we really need to call to God and have Him explain all the things we can’t figure out for ourselves. And they are indeed “great and mighty things.” That’s the inescapable majesty and overwhelming power with which we are confronted when we read the Word of God.

1 A not so subtle nod to the title of one of the best contemporary volumes concerning Christian phiolosphy, He is there and He is not silent, Francis A. Schaeffer, Tyndale House, Wheaton, IL 1972

[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]

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