Speaking the Truth about God

I’ve been on a journey this year through a chronological Bible reading plan. The plan takes you through Genesis and then into Job. There are a lot of things about the book of Job that are very striking, but this time through Job what really struck me was his “friends” and how easy it is to be just like them.

1024px-William_Blake_Job's_Tormentors_c1785-90_this_state_1800-25_British_Museum_LondonJob is inexplicably stuck with disaster and disease. From the human point of view, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for all this devastation after having lived such a good life. Job begins to lament and question why God would do such a thing to him and his friends are ready with an answer that goes like this, “Obviously, Job, you have done something wrong and you have earned punishment from God. Everyone knows that God punishes people for their sin.”

When God finally responds to Job, this is what He has to say to Job’s friends, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” [1] This caught my attention because I talk a lot about God. I’m a pastor so most of my teaching and guiding has to do with God. I asked myself, do I speak the truth about God?

When we speak to others around us, especially those who are hurting, it’s important that we share with them the truth about who God is. We want to offer up answers and give people solutions, so we tell them who we think God is, but often times we aren’t speaking the truth about God. It’s so easy for us offer up a picture to others of who we think God is instead of who he really is.

The truth about God is we don’t know everything about Him and in certain cases we shouldn’t presume to speak for him. We are called to proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truths of scripture, but even the Bible can’t tell us everything about our infinite God.

So what should have Job’s friends done? It think should have answered Job’s questions about why God allowed these things to happen with, “I don’t know, but we’ll be here with you as you go through it.” When people ask us important questions about God we need to be careful to speak the truth about God. If you are unsure or unaware, it’s best to say you don’t know. On top of that, even when we think we know, we should approach speaking about God with love and humility, and do our best to offer up scripture as our background. We are likely to slip up because God is so far beyond us, but let’s agree to do our best to speak truthfully about God.

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” [2]

 [1] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 42:7.
 [2] Eph 4:14–15.

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