Monday, January 30

the Word.

look, God is all-powerful.  who is a teacher like Him? no one can tell Him what to do.  no one can say to Him, 'you have done wrong.' instead, glorify His mighty works, singing songs of praise.  everyone has seen these things, but only from a distance.  look, God is exalted beyond what we can understand.  His years are without number.  He draws up the water vapor and then distills it into rain.  the rain pours down from the clouds, and everyone benefits from it.  can anyone really understand the spreading of the clouds and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven? see how He spreads the lightning around Him and how it lights up the depths of the sea.  by His mighty acts He governs the people, giving them food in abundance.  He fills His hands with lightning bolts.  He hurls each at its target.  the thunder announces His presence; the storm announces His indignant anger.  my heart pounds as i think of this.  it leaps within me.  listen carefully to the thunder of God's voice as it rolls from His mouth.  it rolls across the heavens, and His lightning flashes out in every direction.  then comes the roaring of the thunder- the tremendous voice of His majesty.  He does not restrain the thunder when He speaks.  God's voice is glorious in the thunder.  we cannot comprehend the greatness of His power.  He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down.  everyone stops working at such a time so they can recognize His power.  the wild animals hide in the rocks or in their dens.  the stormy wind comes from its chamber and the driving winds bring the cold.  God's breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water.  He loads the clouds with moisture, and they flash with His lightning.  the clouds turn around and around under His direction.  they do whatever He commands throughout the eart.  He causes things to happen on earth, either as a punishment or as a sign of His unfailing love.  listen, stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God! do you know how God controls the storm and causes the lightning to flash forth from His clouds? do you understand how He balances the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill? when you are sweltering in your clothes and the south wind dies down and everything is still, He makes the skies reflect the heat like a giant mirror.  can you do that?  you think you know so much, so teach the rest of us what to say to God.  we are too ignorant to make our own arguments.  should God be told that i want to speak? can we speak when we are confused?  we cannot look at the sun, for it shines brightly in the sky when the wind clears away the clouds.  golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.  He is clothed in dazzling splendor.  we cannot imagine the power of the Almighty, yet He is so just and merciful that He does not oppress us. no wonder people everywhere fear Him.  people who are truly wise show Him reverence.

for the truth about God is known to them instinctively.  God has put this knowledge in their hearts.  from the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made.  they can clearly see His invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature.  so they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.

for all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.  yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty.  He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.  for God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us.  we are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us.  God was being entirely fair and just when He did not punish those who sinned in former times.  and He is entirely fair and just in this present time when He declares sinners to be right in His sight because they believe in Jesus.

*Job 36:22-37:24; Romans 1:19-20; Romans 3:23-26

No comments: