To Challenge God Almighty

"Your opinion matters. You deserve to be heard." This is the mantra of the age, is it not? In the social media world, I am invited to 'Like' a picture or post, '+1' a video or sharing, and comment about my friend's relationship status. In the commercial world, I am solicited for my thoughts on a product, a book, a restaurant. Even in the world of politics or news, I am welcomed to give my opinion or analysis on the latest events and happenings in the world. Everything and everyone, it seems, wants to know what I think.

Mr. Zeitgeist's Lie About Human Opinion

I’ve often found myself asking, “Why am I constantly asked to give my opinion on… everything?” Then, the spirit of the times, Mr. Zeitgeist, whispers, "Because your voice deserves to be heard! Your opinion matters!" And this spirit does not say this to me only - he says it to all the world.

But really? Do our voices deserve to be heard? Do our opinions actually matter?

Mr. Zeitgeist says, "Yes!" Should I 'Like' that cat video? Absolutely. Should I give my rating about this restaurant's food and service? You bet! Should I share my thoughts on the White House's last big move? Yes sir! Should I tell the world about the great cause I'm involved in? Undoubtedly! Should I post my thoughts on the world, morality, God, philosophy, or whatever I feel like? Of course!

Mr. Zeitgeist is always working to feed us lies. His greatest victory in the current age has been to blur the lines between the realms in which human opinion is trivial (cat videos), useful (restaurants), or important (democracy) with the realm in which human opinion is worthless (God, philosophy, morality). Yes I said it; there is a realm in which human opinion is worthless - God's.

But alas, we have we bought the lie from Mr. Zeitgeist and become fools. Fully under the influence of the spirit of the times, we believe that what we think or feel or say or want about anything dictates what is right – for the individual at least.  We believe that our preferences matter in things that are far beyond our purview.  We believe, "If I truly believe something, it has merit - not because of my knowledge but because I thought it, I wrote it, I blogged it." Because of Mr. Zeitgeist, we cannot be swayed by reason or rhetoric, for what is logic compared to the Almighty Me? Because of Mr. Zeitgeist, we must always voice our thoughts and ideas; humble submission is completely out of the question. Because of Mr. Zeitgeist, we reject all authority except our own, because, after all, we need to 'follow our hearts' - and our hearts are right.

But, in the face of Mr. Zeitgeist, again I say it: in the realm in which God has authoritatively declared the Truth, human opinion is entirely worthless. God does not hold a forum for us to bring up our objections to His Truth. God does not have a comments section to His Bible. Yet we continue to prop up our human opinion as authoritative and challenge God.  It should not be.

The Folly of Clay Quarrelling With Its Maker

All through Scripture God is held up as the Creator, the Maker, the Authority over all things - including mankind. And it has nothing but warning and woe for the man who would try to challenge this God:

Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’? Isaiah 45:9 (c.f. Isaiah 29:15-16, Romans 9:19-20)

Would it not be ridiculous for a piece of clay on a pottery wheel to open it's mouth and say, "Stop! Why are you making me this way? Don't you know that I want to be this way and not your way?" Would it not be offensive for the clay to say to its maker, "You fool! Let me show you how to form clay correctly. You have no understanding." How much more ridiculous and offensive to God is it for mankind to challenge Him - the Almighty Creator, Sustainer, and God of this universe! We are dust (Gen 2:7), and He has ultimate authority over His dust (Ps 90:3). How then could we be so arrogant to challenge what He has said?

Job Challenges the Almighty God

But, of course, our generation is not the first to challenge God; Adam and Eve began the disastrous trend when they first sinned. But, perhaps the best known demonstration of what happens when a man challenges the Almighty is in the book of Job.

Job was a man who lived in the same time period as that of Genesis, a man "blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil" (Job 1:1). He had seven sons, three sons, and the equivalent of millions of dollars. Quite simply, Scripture says he was "the greatest of all the men of the east" (Job 1:3).

But God took all of it away - in one day. All of his livestock- sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys - were pillaged, killed, or consumed by fire from heaven. All his servants were killed - save for the four who had the unenviable task of bringing this terrible news to him. And in one freak 'accident', all of his adult children were crushed and killed while they feasted. Finally, God took away his health and allowed him to have agonizingly painful boils all over his body, which forced him to scrape his skin with broken pieces of pottery. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

To his credit, Job refused to blame God or sin with his lips (Job 1:20-22, 2:19-10) for a time. But he, along with his friends, began to speak many words, and in speaking many words challenge God - not unlike clay would challenge his maker. Job challenged God's righteousness, justice, goodness, kindness, graciousness, authority. He asserted his own righteousness, and accused God of partiality, cruelty, injustice. He spoke his own opinion, and raised it up to the same level as God's.

God Almighty Rebukes Job

For twenty-nine chapters God patiently endures with Job's complaining, blasphemy, and insolence. But in chapter 38, in what would be the start to one of the most scalding rebukes recorded in all of Scripture, God answers:

“Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” (Job 38:1-3).

Do you hear the bite? In modern vernacular, God says something like this to Job: “Who are you again? Your words are ignorant.  When you speak, you make matters worse. Just who do you think you are? Now then, be a man, little boy, if you think you know something. I will ask you, and you tell Me!” It’s certainly not what the polite ‘Grandpa-in-the-sky’ would say. God is angry, and His holy indignation will not be silent.

God proceeds to answer Job's challenge – and doesn’t stop for 120 verses. They are some of the most humbling and jarring verses in all the Scriptures; here are some examples from chapter 38 alone:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?

Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place, That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?

Have the gates of death been revealed to you, Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.

Where is the way of the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, That you may take it to its territory And that you may discern the paths to its home? You know, for you were born then, And the number of your days is great!

Can you bind the chains of Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites?

Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you? Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, ‘Here we are’?

But of course, when God asks questions, He’s not looking for information. He’s proving a point: Job opinion is utterly worthless. Where was Job when God made world? Nowhere; he didn’t exist. Has Job ever in his life commanded the morning? No, the morning commands him to rise. Has Job ever seen the entrance to death or known the expanse of the world? No, not even close. Where is the dwelling place of light and darkness? Job knows not. Can Job control the stars? Absolutely not. Can Job command the clouds or the storms? No, he can’t.

In essence God says this: “Job, you can't, but I can. You know not, but I know. You have not, but I have. When you can do these things, know these things, and have done these things – these things that only I have the power do, that only I know, and that only I have done – then you will have the right to question Me. Then you will have the right to challenge what I decree, and object to My Will. I am God, and there is no other. What are you but a man?”

God Trumps Human Opinion

God's voice is stark contrast to Mr. Zeitgeist. Do we dare challenge God? Only if we've done everything He has done, and know all that He knows, have the same unfathomable wisdom as He, and have the same authority as He, will we have a legitimate case. Only when man becomes God will we deserve to be heard, and since that will never happen, and never can happen, we will never have a legitimate case. Let all the world yield to the Only God!

Thus, in sexuality, marriage, morality, philosophy/religion, theology, sociology, psychology, history, and all other realms upon which the Word of God speaks, God reigns supreme. God has the final say, not man. For all our comments and blogs and forums, human opinion contributes nothing to the things that God has revealed through His Word. Mr. Zeigeist, you are wrong; God told me so.

At the end of the book of Job, after Job has heard all of God's rebuke, he answers thus:

“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know… I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes. " (Job 42:3-6)

Job repented of his arrogance, and humbled Himself before the Almighty God at the revelation of His Word.  We should, too.

Book Review Structure

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