Who Controls Whom?
An ancient and rich man once thought he had the power to keep his life orderly and secure. He knew there was a God who could make his life unpleasant, and so he did everything he could to keep loose ends tied up—not only for himself but for his extended family. First of all, he himself was blameless and upright, shunning evil in every quarter. Next, whenever his ten children held a feast, he would provide the resources for a purification sacrifice to be held the next morning—just in case one of them did something that was out of line (Job 1:5).
The problem with Job’s perspective was not in his blameless lifestyle nor in his efforts to cover his children’s sins. Job’s problem was deeper. Underlying all his efforts to live a blame-free life was his secret thought that his actions controlled God’s actions. “If I don’t sin, God won’t bother me,” was seemingly his reasoning. This is really just a disguised desire for power. Another rich man with a penchant for power, this one in our modern era, admitted to such: “Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control affairs” (Andrew Carnegie). Dangerous ground, this power playground, as Job soon discovered.
Everyone knows the story of Job’s demise, his meteoric descent from the top of the power pile to the top of the dung pile. He painfully learned that no part of the creation controls the Creator. God has power over all things, all people, and all events, period. God drove this point home to Job by stripping him of everything he owned, and then probing him with the most unanswerable series of questions ever asked (Job 38-39). Job realized that he could no more control God than he could control. . .well, his own life (Job 40:4-5).
If you find yourself on the horns of a dilemma (like Job did), don’t think shooting the bull (like Job’s friends did) will solve it. The solution is to submit to God’s power. That’s the only way stories have happy endings (see Job 42:7-16).
God’s Promise to You: “Your acknowledgement of my power is your access to my peace.”
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