My Hand Over My Mouth, II

In Christianity on May 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm

In the first post of this series, I suggested we might do well to take a lesson from Job, who decided to talk less (particularly about himself and his understanding of God) and adore more.  These are odd words, almost jarring to our ears.

Yet we see Job coming to this realization in the Old Testament book that bears his name. In Job 7:11, we find Job speaking rashly: “My own utterance I will not restrain. I will speak.” Although Job’s friend Eliphaz was wrong in much his counsel, in 15:6—he offers sound insight: “Your own mouth condemns you, not I.” Yet Job doesn’t listen. In 23:3-4 he is still speaking: “I would set my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments.”

But in 38:1-2, God speaks to Job: “Who is this that obscures divine plans with words of ignorance?”  By 40:4, having been challenged by God, Job’s enthusiasm for speaking is spent and he simply says, “What can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth.” And by 42:3, Job admits, “I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know.”

Let us take care, brothers and sisters, when we speak casually about God, or worse, to God. Christ is our Good Shepherd, but he is also “immortal, invisible, God only wise; in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,” in the words of the hymn.

Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe.  For our God is a consuming fire

Stay tuned for Part III, in which we’ll discuss an approach, a way of thinking about how to always speak humbly and reverently of God.

¹ Hebrews 12:28-29

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