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Thought for the Month

"Is not God high in the heavens? …Therefore you say 'What does God know? Can he judge through the deep darkness? Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see'" (Job 22.12-14 NRSV). It would seem that even three thousand years ago, when there was no doubt or dispute as to the reality of the existence of God or the gods, some men believed they could escape from the moral obligation of loyalty to Him. God is too far away to see what we are doing, they said to one another. The clouds of the sky shroud us from His sight and we can go our own ways and plan our own lives without any thought of duty or responsibility to Him or even any appreciation of what He has done for us. Two thousand years before that time the ancient Sumerians taught that man had been created for the service of the gods and in every department of daily life they acknowledged the lordship of the gods and rendered them their due. The wise ones of Job's day were already a long way past such notions.

If God was there at all He was not unduly interested in the affairs of mortal men. The very obvious fact that evil deeds and evil lives went unpunished and that injustice was unheeded and the unrighteous, as often as not, profited exceedingly from their unrighteousness, proved that there was nothing to be gained by living an upright life and exercising a benevolent citizenship. God neither sees nor cares and we are free to add to the injustice and suffering in the world in whatever way we will. "They said to God 'Leave us alone' and 'What can the Almighty do to us?'" (Job 22.17)

The modern world does not even stop to ask what the Almighty can do to us; the very existence of the Almighty is tacitly, if not avowedly denied. Man was not created. Perhaps he is the consequence of a fortuitous amalgamation of chemical substances acted upon by ultra-violet rays and lightning flashes, but he could have come about by any one of a half-dozen ways which are the subject of similar learned theories. Hence man is responsible to no one but himself. Hence we live by the law of the jungle. The end product of evolution appears to be annihilation.

   Some among the wise men of this world are beginning to realise that. Some of the lords of creation will begin to hope there is a Lord of Creation to whom they can assign their self claimed role as arbiters of human destiny. Those old time philosophers of Job's day did say of those who demanded what could the Almighty do to them, that there was a world before theirs that the Almighty had brought to an end because of its wickedness. They also said that they themselves would one day come to the point where the fire would "consume their own excellency". Many years later, Peter, writing of the inevitable end of this continuing disregard of, and disbelief in, God, described the close of the present world-age in the same terms. "The heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements will be dissolved with fire and the earth and everything that is done on it will be burned up" (2 Peter 3.10) It is after that catastrophe that all men everywhere, despite their past unbelief, will realise that God has been there all the time, not unmindful of man, always in full control. He created man for the purpose of living in abiding union with Himself in what Peter then goes on to describe as a "new heavens and a new earth , where righteousness is at home. (v.13 NRSV).


Little Points in a Big Programme


A little more love for everybody


A closer cleaving to God's Word as my guide.


A little wider open purse in helping to support God's cause.


A little softer heart towards sufferers around me.


A little more readiness to see the viewpoint of others.


A little more freedom from the poison of prejudice and ignorance.


A little better remembering of the Lord's Day (every day!) as a day of spiritual privileges.


A little more time spent on prayer and meditation in the Scriptures.


A little more obedience to the Lord and his Word.


A little sweeter heart towards those who antagonise me.


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