Tag Archives: Job

The Rainmaker

I’ve been pondering over this morning a verse which was in the intro video at the opening of Manifest Presence conference last night.

Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
From whose womb has come the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?
-Job 38:28-29

Over the years I’ve found that God often speaks to me through some of the more unusual and less well-trodden parts of His Word. Some of the verses that I find myself fixated on can seem pretty weird on first glance – but I’ve learnt that for me this seems to be God’s  invitation to dig a bit deeper and discover something new about who He is and what He’s doing.

To put this passage in context, Job has just spent 35 chapters moaning at God after the opening 2 chapters of what could euphemistically be referred to as a bit of a rough patch in his life. After round upon round of little to no help or real understanding from his wife and mates, God Himself enters the scene in chapter 38, and gives Job quite the perspective lesson!

And these two verses that jumped out at me in the video are part of God’s masterclass in how much higher His ways are than ours and why He’s God and we’re not 🙂

But as I turned these two verses over in my mind, I was interested to note that all four lines contain a reference to water (rain, dew, ice, frost) – and a link to parental relationship (father, begotten, womb, birth). There’s something deeper going on here….

Here Comes The Rain

We’ve had a lot of rain here in Auckland in the last 24 hours, and it looks set to continue over the next few days. But until now I can’t say that I’ve ever looked outside at the downpour and considered it’s parentage!

Instead I usually tend to focus more on what that rain is doing in the here and now… making me wet, causing traffic congestion, reminding me that finer weather has yet to grace us with its presence….! #bringonsummer

Yet the rain comes from somewhere. The cloads bloat with evaporated moisture and reach a tipping point where they dump their load on the earth. Most people can explain the process. Nearly all of us would have drawn colourful pictures with crayons in primary school showing the seas, the clouds and the yellow sun radiating from the corner of the page to demonstrate our understanding of the water-cycle. Yes, the rain has an ORIGIN.

Origin-ality

As humans, we are naturally curious about the origins of things. We have scientists across the world putting large amounts of time and energy into understanding how everything began – and we’re especially interested in how the universe, the earth, and ultimately we as humans came into being.

But here’s the thing. When you try to understand creation but exclude a Creator, the best you can come up with is a PROCESS. A big bang, a galatic shattering that somehow birthed everything. A purposeless, personless process which somehow begat the beauty and unbelievable intricacy of the planet we live on, the bodies we dwell in, and the minds that we think with.

Setting aside the unfathomable leap of faith required to actually believe that this is what led to the billions of cells in my body functioning seamlessly together as I write this blog post (save that for another time) – the study of ORIGINS without reference to an ORIGINATOR can only ever at best tell us HOW things happened.

But they can’t answer the deepest and most pressing question that humanity has… WHY am I here?

The Rain Has A Father?

The rain falls from the sky. It has an ORIGIN and a PROCESS. Sure.

But God questions Job… “have you considered if the rain has a father?”

Why would God want Job to link the process of rain in with the person of a father? Could it be to get us to connect the dots that there’s another reality behind the reality that we see? (wow, that’s deep!).

Behind every PROCESS is an ORIGIN.
We see the process of water falling from the heavens, we wonder where it comes from. We study it and observe it. We come to a conclusion about it’s origin.

And this is where most of science stops. Here’s HOW it happens. Here’s where it comes from.

But God wants us to keep going and to look deeper and see…

Behind the ORIGIN is an INTENTION.
The rain isn’t there by accident. It’s there by design. Thought and intention was put into it’s construction and process. Which leads us to see that….

Behind the INTENTION is a PERSON.
It seems to me that our Heavenly Father has an underlying plan for us. He wants to fundamentally change how we see ourselves and the world that surrounds. He wants us to understand that our lives and existence aren’t just an accident, but part of a wonderfully good grand design. He wants to let us know that we’re not just vagrant sentient beings moving around in the time and space of interconnected processes. We’re here on purpose. There’s a reason.

Through something as simple as showers from the sky – God wants to answer once and for all the burning question of WHY we are here.

God wants us to see that not just the rain but everything, everything … EVERYTHING has been given to us not by accident or fate, but through the provision and hands of a loving Father. It all comes back to Him.

The sky has a Maker. The universe has a Creator. Humanity has an Author. The rain has a Father.

We’re not just connected physically to this world.  But we’re connected relationally to the One who made it.  We’re not accidents.  We’re not orphans.  We belong.  He is our Father, we are His children.  How awesome is that!

So today… it looks it’s going to rain!  But thanks to Job, I’m seeing more than just the heavens opening and the need for an umbrella. I’m looking beyond it, and seeing the wonder and glory of a good God, who graciously provides all that I need.

Thoughts On Job 28 – Mining Gold!

Job 28:1 – Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine.

Job 28:2 – Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted out of the ore.

Job 28:3 – Man sets an end to darkness, and searches out, to the furthest bound, the stones of obscurity and of thick darkness.

Job 28:4 – He breaks open a shaft away from where people live. They are forgotten by the foot. They hang far from men, they swing back and forth.

Job 28:5 – As for the earth, out of it comes bread; Underneath it is turned up as it were by fire.

Job 28:6 – Sapphires come from its rocks. It has dust of gold.

Job 28:7 – That path no bird of prey knows, neither has the falcon’s eye seen it.

Job 28:8 – The proud animals have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed by there.

Job 28:9 – He puts forth his hand on the flinty rock, and he overturns the mountains by the roots.

Job 28:10 – He cuts out channels among the rocks. His eye sees every precious thing.

Job 28:11 – He binds the streams that they don’t trickle. The thing that is hidden he brings forth to light.

Job 28:12 – But where shall wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:13 – Man doesn’t know its price; Neither is it found in the land of the living.

Job 28:14 – The deep says, ‘It isn’t in me.’ The sea says, ‘It isn’t with me.’

Job 28:15 – It can’t be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for its price.

Job 28:16 – It can’t be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire{or, lapis lazuli}.

Job 28:17 – Gold and glass can’t equal it, neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

Job 28:18 – No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal. Yes, the price of wisdom is above rubies.

Job 28:19 – The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, Neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

Job 28:20 – Whence then comes wisdom? Where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:21 – Seeing it is hidden from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the birds of the sky.

Job 28:22 – Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

Job 28:23 – God understands its way, and he knows its place.

1)     There is a place where gold and silver are found

It’s not found everywhere.  True treasure is hidden, and it has to be searched for.  But it is SOMEWHERE!

There is treasure in our ministries… but we have to look for it.  It’s often not found just lying around in the easy places.  But it IS there!

2)    Iron is taken out of the ground and copper is smelted

That which is of great value doesn’t start off as great value.  There’s work to be done to turn it into great value.  You don’t just pick up iron & copper – it has to be worked with and processed.

There IS WORK in our ministries to be done.  We co-labour, co-ergo with God.  Just because God’s in the equation it doesn’t mean everything comes easy!

3)    Man sets an end to darkness, and searches out the furtherest bounds

There comes a point in our lives and ministries where we say ‘there must be more’.  I’m not happy with what I’m seeing, with where things are.  I’m going to go exploring.  I’m going to try some things.

Our quest for gold begins with our dissatisfaction at what we currently have.  Settlers never find gold, only explorers do!

4)    Gold is far away from people, and you have to hang there a while

The place where gold is found is away from the crowds.  There’s no signs pointing to it!  Not only that but you have to be prepared to ‘hang’ for a while, swinging back and forth.  Can feel like a pointless endeavour – is anything ever going to happen?

But that’s the process to find gold.  And it’s the same with our ministries.  The most valuable thing we can be doing is exploring.  Our settlements process the gold.  But our mines and explorations discover it.  If the gold starts to dry up, so do our settlements!

5)    No bird of prey / falcon has found it

Those who are looking for a quick feed and an easy path won’t strike gold.  Gold isn’t found by the birds of prey – the scavengers.

6)    He puts his hand on the flinty rock

There is something very tactile, time-consuming, and involved about looking for gold.  It takes time.  YOU have to do it.  You can’t just delegate it to someone else.  Your hand has to touch the flinty rock.  You have to cut the channels.  You have to stop the water flowing (a difficult thing) so that you can find what’s hidden beneath it.

It’s like that with people’s lives.  We have to touch them.  We have to be prepared to bury deep with them, and to stop up the distractions that are flowing over the top so that we can get to the gold.

7)     The thing that is hidden is brought forth to the light

Finally, after all of the process – the gold is found, and brought from the darkness into the light.

THEN HE SAYS… now, what about wisdom?!  Where do you find it?  The answer… God knows the way.  He’s the only one who can direct us in the things that we’re facing today.

Speak For Yourself!

Job 32:20 – I will speak, that I may be refreshed. I will open my lips and answer.

The mouths that God has given us are tremendously powerful and can work either good or evil.  In this verse, a young man, Elihu, speaks to the embattled Job about the suffering that has taken place for him. 

He says ‘I will speak, that I may be refreshed’.  His desire for speaking to Job is not that Job will be blessed, but so that Elihu can get something off his chest. 

This is a perfect example of an immature prophetic voice – rather than being for the building up of the person being spoken to, it’s all about the person who is speaking. 

Prophecy however is the ability to ‘call those things which are not, as though they were’.  It’s easy to criticize and get things off your chest – it’s much harder to speak to greatness and strength in a person who is displaying misery and weakness. 

Four Friends

Job 32:3 – Also his wrath was kindled against his three friends, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Job had a total of four friends who came around him in his time of need.  But instead of lifting him up, they just tore him down.  They may have spoken words of ‘truth’ but they did not help bring him in touch with the one who could heal his heart.

Contrast this with the four friends of the paralytic man in Mark 2:3.  They each grabbed a part of the stretcher, climbed up on a roof, tore the roof to bits, and lowered their friend down so that he could get to Christ.  They did everything within their power to help their friend who was in need. 

When confronted with the need of another – we have a choice.  Will we accuse them or help them?

Walking As A Prophet

Job 16:10 – They have gaped on me with their mouth; They have struck me on the cheek reproachfully. They gather themselves together against me.

To be a prophet is more than to speak about dreams and revelations.  It is to hold steadfastly to what is right, regardless of the consequences. 

In this verse, Job speaks about how he has been treated for standing up for what he believes is right and true.  There is a sequence of events here which is very similar to what Jesus says persecution will look like for believers in Matthew 5:11: 

1) The mouths of the wicked speak against the righteous.  Those who stand by God will be the target of wicked words and accusations. 

2) They are struck on the cheek.  Just as the true prophet Micaiah was struck on the cheek by the false prophet Zedekiah in 1 Kings 22:24, persecution is inevitable for those who side with God. 

3) The wicked gather themselves against the righteous.  What starts off as individual persecution, ends up with the wicked banding together against the righteous.  Psalms 59:3 says ‘For, behold, they lie in wait for my soul. The mighty gather themselves together against me, Not for my disobedience, nor for my sin, Yahweh’ and again in Psalms 94:21 – ‘They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous’

It’s not easy to stand up for what is right.  But this is the path of the true prophet.