Monday, February 9, 2009

God: Too Big for My Brain

I've been in a relationship with God for quite a while. I know the stories of the Old Testament, but am a New Testament gal. I've love Jesus and his patience and love for me! A good friend (Sharon) even reminded me that Jesus said "Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29). That's the relationship I know and love.

I've been reading the Old Testament in my goal to read the entire Bible this year. I'm having a hard time. God considers Job to be "blameless and upright." Those are God's exact words about Job, yet he turns Job over to Satan letting Satan take everything, even killing Job's children. When Job asks God why this happens, God basically tells Job he has no right to ask him why. (He does restore everything back to Job.) Have you ever asked God why? I have.

In Exodus, God tells Moses to go see Pharaoh. Moses isn't a great speaker, calling himself slow of speech and tongue, and so he asks God to "please send someone else." The Bible says "the Lord's anger burned against Moses." Have you have asked God to get someone else to do something He wanted you to do? I have.

Later in verse 24, we learn that God is about to kill Moses (or either Moses' son, the footnote states the text isn't clear which). God plans to kill Moses because Moses failed to circumcise his son. This was a sin of omission. Moses hadn't done something, rather it was what he didn't do. Have you ever failed to do something you should have? I have.

I deserve God's burning anger and even death. I'm sure God wouldn't even call me "blameless and upright" as he did Job (whom he allowed catastrophe upon). God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin, and destroyed the entire world by flood, all because of sin. Where does that leave me, a sinner?

My study Bible says when the earth was created, the angels were there, but not Job (or us). Therefore he (and we) should not expect to be able to understand even lesser aspects of God's plans for the world and for mankind. I can honestly say I don't!

I am so thankful for the grace and mercy I receive through Jesus. I think sometimes we accept the grace too easily without realizing what we could have gotten. Just check out the Old Testament. God has a standard that we can't meet. But Jesus met it for us. I'm thankful for that, even as I try to understand the rest. It's not easy.

Isaiah 55:8 -- "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

Job 36:26a -- How great is God—beyond our understanding!

Proverbs 3:5 -- Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Chatty Kelly


Melanie said...

You're's not easy. And that's where faith comes in. Faith is the thing that God honored in the OT and the NT.
The book of Job has always been a tough one for me, too.

Dorothy Champagne said...

I really enjoy the old testament. It reminds me, in a way, of a giant fairytale book. Just stories after stories with different characters and different storylines, yet all with a moral to be learned. People don't believe the Bible to be relevant today. Well Darwin came out with his book in 1858 - that's over 150 years ago. How many years does it take something to become 'irrelevant'? I don't understand God's ways either - but I truly enjoy stepping into the Bible and letting Him give me insight to the verses I read. Thank you Kelly!

Sue J. said...

What's great is that you are doing what our excellent Bible study teachers are doing--you look at the Bible in its entirety! You may not understand the God of the OT because times were a little different. Truly, we don't operate exactly like the OT culture. Similarities, but not the same.

Without understanding Jesus Christ and the gospel of grace, it's hard to put the OT into perspective. Yet, without the OT, how can we understand why the gospel of grace was required? How can we put Jesus' sacrifice and God's love into its ultimate perspective?

It's OK that God is too big for your brain. Me, too! And I praise Him for that!! I NEED someone bigger than me, for sure....

I'm glad He's allowing your brain to grow bigger through all this study; we're all blessed by that!

My ADHD Me said...

Like Melanie said in her comment, the book of Job is difficult for me too. I have a hard time with God killing his children and then giving him more, How would I handle that? I pray I will never have to know.

I loved that book you loaned me about the OT. It helped me understand it more. However, I need to read the actual OT to get the entire depth of it.

I enjoyed your post today. It reminds me of how blessed we are because of Jesus.

Mary Moss said...

Kelly, thank you for this great post. There sure is a lot to think about. Your words really hit home!

B His Girl said...

He's mind boggling! Job's words speak so much to His greatness.
Job 42:1-6
Then Job replied to the Lord:

2 "I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.
3 [You asked,] '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.

4 ["You said,] 'Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.'
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes."

I love these verses. When we see glimpses of God's Glory, it helps us to just Be Still and know that He is God. I have prayed for you today Kelly. Many blessing to you and your family. B

Kay Martin said...

Yes, the Old Testament shows us without the Holy Spirit and I agree left to ourselves it's not good.

I love your sharing on how our human perspective is so far from God's perspective. I tell the seekers looking for God that I cannot explain every mystery. I have finally realized a God I could understand would be too small for me to worship and surrender all to Him.

As you said, thank God for His mercy and grace.

Joy in The Truth said...

Oh, you blessed me "good friend". Connected by heart and His love.

My studies are all Old Testament at the moment, which I love. I do make sure I feed from the New Testament each day too. I need that.

His Word is alive and it is truth. Some things though are a mystery....God is indeed a big God. His Word promises us that the Holy Spirit will help us understand the scriptures. So thankful for that!

Love you, friend!

Marla said...

Since I really started reading the Bible I am reading the New Testament, which is the best place to read to reaffirm your faith. I have read very little of the old testament. I sure I will be reading that in time. It's very violent isn't it? I find for me that it is harder for me to understand. But I keep praying for God to help me understand what I am reading and to be able to apply his word to my life. I don't think I am to good at that part yet.

Edie said...

His ways are not my ways...
... and I'm ok with that. I love the old testament. I have learned so much about God's charachter through the old testament. I love the book of Job too. Once when I was going through some consecutive rough spots (not like Job), my boss jokingly called me Job, and the first thing I thought to say was "that's ok because I know how it all comes out in the end." We still do. :)

Beverlydru said...

I did an exercise last week in a group with the message "you can't put God in a box". It's so true- He is unfathomable. Sometimes when I struggle with not understanding (which is more often than I like!), I am reminded that He didn't ask me to understand, but to trust. Ahhh. Always learning with you.

Greg C said...

I think that people try to look at God and understand the concept in "our" understanding and that isn't possible. To me it is like trying to find words to describe something magnificent. If you can imagine, it would be like trying to describe a sunrise to a blind man. You may get some of it but some things you just can't describe. Great post Kelly.

On Purpose said...

This is True Love...that He would take our place! Thank you Jesus for loving us so much that we can't even understand it!

Irritable Mother said...

So, so much I do not understand. And the more I learn, the more I realize - I do not understand!
But this I know: God is good and I can trust Him.
Because of that fact, I choose to accept all I cannot understand.
Yep - too big for my brain, too!

Joyfulsister said...

Hi kelly
(((Hugz))) Whoa The book of Job is so deep and sometimes left me pondering, that is till I stricken with an illness I had no control over, and the Doctors saying there is no treatment at this time. I could start to relate with Job in some areas, and yet it all boiled down to total trust and letting go and letting God. But still it's not easy and I still have to go back and keep reading Job at times again and again.

Hugz Lorie

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I, too, have had the exact same thoughts this year as I've been reading through the Bible. Those exact passages!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

This is so wonderfully true...and as I grow in my walk, I better understand the Old Testament...welll...not so much understand it as I do believe in the Sovereignty of God.