Thursday, February 2, 2012

Face to Face

"Though he slay me, I will hope in him;  yet I will argue my ways to his face."  - Job 13:15

Can we take our most troubled troubles to God?  Can we beat our fists on his chest?  Can we argue our ways to his face?  Job thinks we can.

A few days ago, I was really having a hard time.  I had been reading a book on creative writing and thought I'd try my hand at 4:30 on Monday afternoon (note to writers everywhere, never attempt to be creative on a Monday, EVER).  I was feeling a little off, but I had no idea the demons I was about to exercise.  

I ended up ranting wildly for about an hour.  It was scary to see the depths of darkness emerge in my writing.  So much rage, anger and frustration.  I was violent in my rage. I was so angry I ended my entry with "Don't tell me to pray!  Don't tell me to pray..."  

It is in times like these that I don't need quaint answers with tagged on verses, since they often act more like salt on the wound than balm for the soul.

What I needed to be reminded of is that I can and should as a Christian take my darkest rage to God.

Have it out with God.  He can handle it.  That's what I needed.  That's what I craved.  Not only did Job remind me of this but I found the same sentiment in Numbers 14, as Moses was tying the people's cause to God's cause.  Here Moses reminds God of his reputation, and what the Egyptians will think if he wipes out his people for, and this is really important, the Egyptians have heard that "you, O LORD, are in the midst of this people.  For you, O LORD, are seen face to face..."

What?  The only person that's quoted as seeing God face to face in the OT is Moses.  So what's this?  Moses is expressing the personal aspect of God's nature.  He's right there with his people, dealing.

This God, with whom we get to deal "face to face", is such an encouragement to me.  For if I couldn't take my hurt, rage and big "Why?" questions to God, I'd simply explode.

So here's to not exploding.   And here's to being real with God.


Mike said...

Right on, Philip. Not only Job and Moses, but David and the other authors of the Psalms vented to God all the time. An example is Psalm 88. As many have pointed out, this is one psalm that doesn't end "nicely." Heman the Ezrahite, who allegedly wrote this psalm, rages and laments to God from verse 1 through verse 18, and doesn't feel the need to tie a nice little spiritual bow on at the end. The psalm closes with this line: "The darkness is my closest friend." Yet Psalm 88 is a great picture of faith. Paul Tripp has some great thoughts on this subject:

Philip said...

Thanks Mike, I'll check out the Psalm and Tripp's article. Thanks for the comment!