Observe the forms and beauties of sensible things, and comprehend the Word of God in them. If you do so, the truth will reveal to you in all such things only He who made them, outside of Whom you have nothing to contemplate, for He Himself is all things. For whatever truly is, in all things that are, is He.
- Eriugena, Homily on John 1.1-14, Irish, 9th century
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?”
- Job 38.4, 5
Job spent the better part of 37 chapters reproving his “friends” and perplexing over the mystery of his suffering. Ultimately, he became angry, because he could not get God to come down and give him an explanation for his suffering.
At which point he overstepped the bounds of decency and faith.
He utterly rejected his friends’ diagnosis – that bad things happen to bad people, and Job had enough bad stuff going for the whole neighborhood, ergo he must have been some kind of really bad sinner. Job rejected that assessment.
But if that wasn’t the explanation, then what was? Why was all this trouble happening to him? He knew that all things ultimately come to us at the pleasure of God, and so he concluded that God knew the answer to his suffering, and He needed to provide a reason for it all, so Job could make sense of it.
At last God did come on the scene, but He did not consent to Job’s childish demand for some logical explanation of his suffering. God knew that Job didn’t need a rational explanation for his suffering; he needed a spiritual reconnecting to God.
So God took Job, for four chapters, on a tour of the vast creation, invoking its mysteries and power, pointing to its wonders and complexity, alluding to its beauty, diversity, majesty, and glory, and demanding that Job see, through all these forms, both his own smallness and the greatness, wisdom, power, and lovingkindness of God.
It worked (Job 42.1-6).
As Job contemplated the vastness and wonder of the creation, and as he reflected on the wisdom, power, goodness, and faithfulness of God, Who upholds the creation and all things in it by His Word of power, Job was able to rest in God and the mystery of His love, and to find satisfaction in knowing Him Who knows all – and not in knowing it all himself.
It didn’t really matter that, before God restored him, Job’s outward circumstances hadn’t changed. He’d seen God. He’d become more deeply immersed in God. And he could see and appreciate the evidence of God’s love and glory that surrounded him on every hand. Whatever he’d been forced to suffer, tragic and sorrowful as it was, God was over it all, and God is strong, loving, and good.
“Why is this happening to me?” We’ve all expressed Job’s complaint at some time or other. The answers aren’t always clear, and often no precise reason can be discerned.
But back of all that happens to us is God, Who made everything, sustains everything, and loves us with everlasting love. And all around us, in a multiplicity of forms, the vast creation points to Him and reminds us of His faithfulness, wisdom, power, and love (Ps. 19.1-4).
What does the creation stand to teach you this day about the wonders and glory and goodness and lovingkindness of God? Read the Word of God in Scripture at the beginning of each day. Then read the Word in creation all around you, and be at peace.
1. What could you do to spend a little more time contemplating the world around you and what it reveals about the Lord?
2. How do you think doing so would enrich your walk with and work for the Lord?
Psalm 111.7, 8, 10 (Manoah: When All Your Mercies, O My God)
The works of Your all-sovereign hands are faithful, Lord, and just.
Your precepts ever more are true and worthy of our trust.
All they who would true wisdom know must learn to fear You, Lord,
And in that wisdom daily live and praise You evermore.
Teach me, Lord, to hear Your voice in the things You have made, so that I…
The Church Captive
Our book, The Church Captive, provides an opportunity to look at today’s Church against the backdrop of our Christian past, to discover the extent to which we have become captive to the world and may be coming under the judgment of of God. Order you copy by clicking here.
We pray that, if Crosfigell ministers to you, you’ll consider sharing with us in the financial support of our ministry. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Bamford, p. 89.