I was thinking about the story of Job the other day and I believe that the Holy Spirit brought a fresh concept to my mind as I read. I know that as we build a relationship with our God, one way to operate in that relationship is to treat him like a friend. Often times, I get up in the morning and talk to him out loud as if I'm carrying on a conversation with a close friend. I'm sure God is fine with that and likes it when we are informal and relaxed around him. But the danger comes when we become too relaxed, so much so that we lose sight of his God-ship. Job 1:8, tells us that Job was the most righteous man of his time. Even still, he expressed a bit of arrogance when referring to the ways of God, proclaiming his innocence in the sight of God. In essence, he was questioning why he was experiencing such calamity as if God were in the wrong. When God finally speaks, he is quick to rebuke Job. In Job 42:1-6, Job responds with these words:
"Then Job replied to the Lord: 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You ask, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you and you will answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.'"
Job, the most righteous man of his time, lost sight of the reverent humility that needs to be remembered when it comes to God. At times, we can let our emotions get the best of us when it comes to our idea of God. We may act as if we know him better than everyone else, even to the point of speaking for him or unintentionally challenging him as if we know better than God. We may begin to think that our walk with God entitles us. And we can get a little puffed up, mistakenly proclaiming wisdom in our own eyes. This lesson from Job teaches us to remember our place. God will always be God and we will never be. His ways will always be higher than ours, his thoughts greater than our thoughts. He is the creator and we are the creation. We should never forget that God is God. Yes, we are his children, and he loves us so much that he bought us with the blood of his son, but he is, and will always be preeminent. So, we need to be careful not to fall into the trap that Job found himself in. But I should note that he did the right thing in repenting.
As I think about Job’s story, I'm also reminded about Uzzah who tried to steady the ark of the covenant and was struck dead by God, because he didn't recognize the holiness that came with the ark of our Lord. I'm not saying that we should be afraid of God, but I think there should always be a healthy dose of reverent fear and reverent humility when we approach our God. In the old testament, when people would approach an earthly king unannounced, they knew that by doing this, the King could decide to kill them on the spot. Often times they wouldn't, but that knowledge was always there. Likewise, I think we should maintain a reverent fear for our God. We should never forget our place when it comes to who we are in him and who he is in us. That is why we bow in his presence instead of arrogantly striding up to him.