Faithlife Sermons

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views
Notes
Transcript

Introduction

-{Job 38}
-Sometimes when you have kids, and you start confronting them about something, they start getting an attitude that comes from an inflated sense of self-importance. They think that they deserve this or that and become very demanding. And one of the responses is you asking them WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
~Of course, such an interaction is not restricted to just your kids. Maybe out in the workforce you have a coworker or someone who shows you attitude from an inflated sense of self-importance and become very arrogant and demanding, and you might ask them the same question.
-However, sometimes we ourselves have that same ego. We think that because of who we think we are, this person or that person owes us and that we are deserving of some sort of special treatment. We might need to hear that question for ourselves: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
-We are looking at the book of Job. At the beginning of the book you see an interesting interaction between God and Satan, and God brings up the subject of Job as an example of someone who is upright and loves God.
~Satan challenges that notion, saying that Job only loves God because God has blessed him tremendously. To prove Satan wrong, God allows Satan to take away Job’s wealth and children and then eventually Job’s health.
~The vast majority of the book is Job’s friends and Job philosophizing about Job’s situation, and for the most part everybody is getting something wrong.
~But to focus in on Job’s part, Job has an inflated sense of self-importance. He thinks that he deserves to have an audience with God to plead his case, and he figures that once he has done that, he will be able to show God God’s error in treating Job this way, and God would then immediately restore him because he has been so wrongfully and shamefully treated.
-After listening to Job and friends and their terrible arguments, God has had enough and makes an appearance to Job in a whirlwind.
~Here, God confronts Job about his attitude and approach toward and ideas about God, and God shows Himself more mighty and holy that Job imagined and shows Job to be less prominent than Job thinks himself to be.
-What we learn is that quite often our inflated sense of self-importance blinds us to the truths about God and ourselves, so we approach God wrong, and we think about God wrong. We actually think that God owes us something (be it an explanation or health or wealth or whatever)—to which, God asks the question: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
-I hope today I can lead you to have a proper perspective of yourself so that you approach God rightly, and that the right attitudes and ideas about God are reflected in your conduct. And God begins by demonstrating to Job:

1) Humanity’s limitations

-God starts to bombard Job with a bunch of questions that ought to demonstrate what little Job and other humans really can do. Humans are much more limited than they think that they are. But because they refuse to recognize these limitations, they think of themselves more highly than they ought.
~So, through these questions God shows Job exactly where humanity’s limitations lie. He begins by showing that humans are:

1) Limited in understanding

READ JOB 38:1-11
Job 38:1–11 ESV
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, 9 when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, 10 and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, 11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
-God begins: WHO IS THIS THAT DARKENS COUNSEL? Or, in other words, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? And tells Job to dress up for action like a man—literally, gird your loins (we might say tighten your belt) and get ready for what God is about to throw at him.
-God’s first set of questions have the purpose of showing Job that he doesn’t understand things like he thinks he does. He has opened his mouth and talked about things of which he has no knowledge.
-God asks him questions like if Job understands how the universe was made, how the earth came into being, what the measurements of the universe are, what everything is founded upon, or even something as simple as how the land and the sea know their boundaries.
~Through scientific advancements, we have a better idea than Job might about how some of things work, if we’re honest there is a whole lot more that we don’t know than we actually know.
-God in essence says: Job, you don’t even understand how the universe works, so how do you think you are going to understand the way that I run the ways of human affairs in the world?
~God is trying to show Job the contrast between Job’s lack of understanding and God’s infinite and perfect understanding of all things.
-Job thought he had a pretty good grasp on how things work and how things ought to work, so he figured that he would help God out by gaining an audience with God and tell God how things out to run.
~Picture that: Job a human telling God how He ought to do His job.
~We kind of chuckle at that absurd of an idea, and yet how many times do we get an attitude and think that we know better than God how things ought to go in our lives or in the world.
-A picture of this to me would be like me going into Redstone Arsenal and I start telling all you Rocket Scientists how to do your job. Now, I might have a basic understanding of math and science (and even that’s questionable), but I have no real understanding of the physics of it all. Who would I be to tell you how to do things when I really and truly do not understand the depth and complexities of it all?
-Yet Job thought he knew enough to tell God how things ought to be done. And God tells him through these questions that Job has no understanding on how things really run.
~But we are blessed to know and have relationship with the One who does know how things really go.
Paul understood his own lack of understanding and God’s infinite understanding when he wrote in Romans 11:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? (Romans 11:33–34 ESV)
-The depths of what God knows and what we don’t know is staggering, so we have to be careful not to darken counsel by words without knowledge. But there is another area of limitation; we humans are:

2) Limited in control

READ JOB 38:25-38
Job 38:25–38 ESV
25 “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt, 26 to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, 27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass? 28 “Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the frost of heaven? 30 The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. 31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? 34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? 35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? 37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, 38 when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together?
-Humans like to think that they are in control and have it all under control, when in reality there is very little that we do control other than our own attitudes and choices. We don’t necessarily have control over our circumstances or other people. And we definitely have no control over God and what He chooses to do in His own purpose and will.
-Job needed to learn that lesson, so in these verses God begins to ask Job if he is able to control what we would call the forces of nature. Is Job able to direct the rain? Is Job able to mark the path of a lightning bolt? Can Job make plants grow? Can Job control the temperature? He even asks Job if he’s able to control the way that the constellations appear? Is he able to control the timing of the seasons?
~The obvious answer is absolutely not. Again, Job is limited, but God is the one that is in control of all of these things. Therefore, if Job cannot control these things, it would be smart to figure out that there are things that happen in life that he has no control over either. So, who does Job think he is trying to assume control of something that he has no control over?
-Job thinks he can control the way his life goes because he is a good and righteous man. The fact that Job is good and righteous is never contradicted by God. But just because he is that way doesn’t mean that this gives him control over the way his life runs. Being good and righteous does not equate to having a perfect, smooth life.
-There are people out there, and you might be one of them, that think that if you follow all the rules (meaning, you are dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s and you are checking off all of your religious boxes) that this means somehow that God is beholden to you directing your own path and controlling everything around you. That is not how it works.
~Just because you do right does not mean that you can control and ensure nothing bad ever happens in your life. You can’t control nature, you can’t control your circumstances, and you can’t control God.
~But you have access to the One who has control. Even the false prophet Balaam understands God is in control, saying:
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19 ESV)
-Only God has the control to speak and make things happen. Christ, who is God, was able to rebuke the wind and the waves. If He is able to control nature, He can control your circumstances. Your only control is to trust and obey Him. There’s a third limitation, humans are:

3) Limited in power

READ JOB 41:1-11
Job 41:1–11 ESV
1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord? 2 Can you put a rope in his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? 3 Will he make many pleas to you? Will he speak to you soft words? 4 Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant forever? 5 Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls? 6 Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! 9 Behold, the hope of a man is false; he is laid low even at the sight of him. 10 No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? 11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
-God confronts Job with some of the beasts that God created, and in this passage, God asks Job about Leviathan. There’s a lot of controversy about what exactly Leviathan is. If you read all of the descriptions it really almost sounds like our description of a dragon. Maybe it was a dinosaur of some sort. Most likely, it is talking about giant crocodiles.
~Either way, Leviathan was a beast that was massive and powerful. And God confronts Job asking him if he’s able to contend with the mighty Leviathan.
~Is Job able to subdue Leviathan? Is Job able to catch him with a fishhook or hit him with a spear? Can Job put Leviathan on a leash and make him into a pet?
~No. Job is not able to contend with Leviathan. Job would not win any sort of battle with Leviathan. God says in v. 8 that if Job just laid a hand on Leviathan, Job would never make that mistake again. God warns in v. 10 that there is no one who is so fierce that they would dare stir Leviathan up. There is no one who dares to mess with the mighty Leviathan.
-But then God demonstrates that Leviathan is completely under God’s power. So, if Job can’t even contend with the power of Leviathan, why would he try to contend with the power of God.
-Assuming the Leviathan is a crocodile, the largest crocodile ever in captivity measured 20ft 3in from snout to tail and weighed 2370 pounds. Is there any human that thinks that they can wrestle with that? Is there any human that would come anywhere near that thing?
~Humans have no power to deal with such a beast, and yet that beast is nothing in comparison to God.
~Do we think that we have power to wrestle with God over the circumstances of life? Do we think we have the power to somehow force God to do something?
~Job seemed to think that he could force God to give him an audience to plead his case. We have no power to force God to do anything. We have no power to bring about anything in our lives. We are totally dependent on the God who has power over Leviathan and everything else.
-God wanted to make sure that Job and we understood that we are limited. And that leads to Job’s response. (This will be real quick):

2) Humanity’s humiliation

READ JOB 42:1-6
Job 42:1–6 ESV
1 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
-After getting hammered by all these questions from God, Job gets it, and he responds in complete and utter humility. And the funny thing is, not once did God ever explain to Job why things happened the way they did. God owed no explanation to Job or to anybody else for that matter.
~But this is Job’s response, and this should be ours as well

1) Recognize God’s power

-In v. 2 Job confessed that God had the power to do all things and that no purpose of His can be thwarted. He recognized that God has the power to do whatever He pleases, and that means that we humans surrender in trust to this all-powerful God.

2) Hold your tongue

-In v. 3 Job recognized that he talked about things he didn’t understand that are way beyond him, so it would have been better for him to keep his mouth shut.
-Too often we speak first and think later (if we ever think at all). We speak before listening and hearing what God says. We are quick to react, but we don’t want to hear what God has to say to us through His Word to us.
-God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours—higher than the heavens are over the earth. With our limitation, it would do us good to listen and meditate and ponder on God and His Word before we open our mouth in complaints or in boasts like Job did. We need to learn to hold our tongue.

3) Seek to truly know God

-Job finally gets a fuller picture of God—He has heard Him and in a vision-sort-of-way has seen God. This means that Job has received a fuller revelation of God, and now Job is able to respond to God rightly.
-So much of our problems is that we give a knee-jerk reaction to situations and we accuse God of things and we assume we know what’s going on when we really don’t. Instead of wasting our energies in our complaints and temper-tantrums, we need to seek to know God better through His Word, and rest in His mercies.

Conclusion

-And what Job found, and what we will find, is that God is good. He is merciful. The greatest mercies He shows is the forgiveness of sins that only comes through Jesus Christ—and that is His greatest demonstration of love.
~Who do we think we are to question God?
-Maybe you are wrestling with some things and maybe you acted like Job: accusing God, thinking you know better, speaking before listening. Come to the altar and repent and accept God for who He is and accept that you might never know the why of things, but instead rest in the One WHO is in control.
-But maybe you wrestled with God over how one is saved. Maybe you’ve argued with God about the way of salvation. God made one way, and one way only: believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved…
Related Media
Related Sermons