I love the field of science. When I started writing this devotion, I had many a thought of the detailed research I could elaborate on, the deep mysteries of God I could venture into and the treasure trove of discovery bursting at its seams. However, after typing the first sentence, I inevitably remembered Elijah’s God-I moment with that Silent Presence — so serene, so fine, yet so powerful. So, I retraced my steps and gradually halted my intellectual pursuit. Maybe there was something else God wanted to highlight. After a sudden pause, it dawned on me how obvious it was! I contemplated typing out the above verse in big, bold letters and leaving no space in between for any other flawed, wordy interpretation. Just the verse. No add-on.
This devotion is about a God’s-eye view. When I read the above verse, the only response I could muster was to hurl my face in my hands and — as Job did — repent in dust and ashes. What more could I add to a question like that? Where was I? The fact that God answered Job’s questions with not only a question, but a detailed description of things we could never 16 dream of nor imagine, shows us how the answer to our “Job”- questions is quite-simply the revelation of the awesomeness of God! His magnitude puts everything into perspective, even our questions. When Moses doubted and questioned God, one of the ways God answered was in revealing His sovereignty: “Who gave human beings their mouths? [...] Is it not I, the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11) Before Isaiah was commissioned as prophet, he had the revelation of the sovereignty of God; of His holiness (cf. Isaiah 6). Jesus was asked: “Good Teacher, what good must I do to get eternal life?” He responded, “There is only One who is good.” (Luke 18:19) When John the Baptist sent a message to Jesus asking whether He is truly the Messiah, His answer was not, ‘Yes,’ but rather, “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and good news is preached to the poor.” Who could do these things, if not a sovereign God?
Paul knew well of the oral accounts passed down to him, recounting of God’s majesty: “One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us?’ [...] But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” (Romans 9:19-20). In the first chapter of Revelation, John starts by giving an in-depth description of the glory & awesomeness of God’s physical appearance. We need to first perceive Him for who He is - the God of the universe, clothed with indescribable power and majesty, a God of enormity, who “alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. [...] He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. [...] If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’” (Job 9:8-12).
Recently, I’ve read an excerpt from the works of Johannes Kepler, a renowned German astronomer and mathematician, who had a beautiful moment of God-I confrontation. While he was doing calculations, he stopped mid-way through a sum and composed many a poem of great praise and wonder at a God who is so big and unfathomable. Even in his particular academic field, there would be a beautiful pristine moment where scientific calculations broke forth into worship:
It now remains that at last, with my eyes and hands removed from the tablet of demonstrations and lifted up towards the heavens, I should pray, devout and supplicating, to the Father of lights: O Thou Who dost by the light of nature promote in us the desire for the light of grace, that by its means Thou mayest transport us into the light of glory, I give thanks to Thee, O Lord Creator, Who hast delighted me with Thy makings and in the works of Thy hands have I exulted. Behold! now, I have completed that work of my profession, having employed as much power of mind as Thou didst give to me; to the men who are going to read those demonstrations I have made manifest the glory of Thy works, as much of its infinity as the narrows of my intellect could apprehend. Great is our Lord [...] praise Him ye heavens, praise Him, ye sun, moon, and planets, use every sense for perceiving, every tongue for declaring your Creator! (cf. Psalm 8)
I want to challenge you today: are your worries and cares truly able to stand before an almighty, invincible King? Are they weighing you down because you have failed to weigh them up against a Creator of galaxies, a fiery-eyed Ruler, who knows every star by name and every hair on your head? How many of your problems are due to a miscalculation of God’s supremacy; a flawed perspective of King vs. thing? I am convinced that as we surrender our perspectives to be conquered and determined by an incomparable God, we will not be able to withhold ourselves 18 from bursting into song and worship. And as this happens, the world’s cares ‘will grow strangely dim…’
Most holy King, I repent of allowing the cares of this world to take a front-row seat in my life. Forgive me for allowing the world to narrow down my perspective and that I often fail to see my problems in the light of Your supreme Being. Thank You, Lord, that You desire to reveal Yourself to me and that you loved me before I even was. I bow my heart before You and acknowledge that You alone,Holy Father, determine my perspective, Amen.
Nickel, J. 2012. Mathematics: Is God Silent? Publisher: Ross House Books.
How often do we consider the questions God has asked us in Scripture? How could God Almighty ask a question? He could and would, because it serves a profound purpose. In this first blog post of a Devotional Series, aiming to look at ten questions uttered by God, we start by taking a look at the very first question on our list, i.e. what God asked Jacob (pre-Israel) and of what relevance it is for us today.