Out of the pot and into the fire. That is how I felt as I was scrolling through my Word document that contains all of the warrior verses that I have copied there. The verses get crossed off as I write about them and now more and more of my time is spent scrolling down to find the text for my next thought, and for my next enlightenment. 1 Chronicles was taking forever! That was my feeling. I learned a lot and was forced to think a lot. The posts were fun to write, but they were getting repetitive. With genealogies and the talk of David’s mighty men repeated again and again I was looking forward to what the next book would bring. What new and exciting picture, attributes, and lessons could we learn from our next set of warriors?
I knew I was close, I was pretty sure I was done with Chronicles. As I scrolled I saw the crossed out text end and a new book of the Bible appear. Job. A book that had always confused me more than inspired me. The feeling that God allows, permits, and even has a hand in the terrible things that happen to us, that is just not a feeling that is fun to wrestle with. The idea that bad things happen to us, and then God redeems them is a prettier picture.
Job brings us back to the image of our God as a warrior. An image that I do enjoy much better than the old, bearded guy sitting in the clouds. Where are the paintings of our warrior God brandishing a sword and wearing armor? Where are the pictures of Jesus sitting atop a war horse ready to take on the legions of demons lined up for battle? Job at least reminds us that God is powerful and is to be feared,
Job 16: 11-14
“11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
13 his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again he bursts upon me;
he rushes at me like a warrior.”
As much as we like the picture of our grandfather God, the one who spoils us and protects us, there is more to God than that. Not only is any attempted description of our Almighty Father going to fall short of His complex and other-worldly nature, but we are forced to discuss Him in human words and think about Him with human ideas.
So, whether you are inspired by the story of Job, the story of a man who will praise God in the darkest storms and who will remain true during the worst trails, or whether you struggle with the idea of God and Satan having a contest such as this, can we at least agree that we must remember that God is more than the happy sermons heard in our churches?
We like to forget that God is dangerous, He is fierce, and He is the first warrior. There are going to times where we do not understand Him, truly His ultimate plan for our lives is outside of our reach. He is a general with a war plan that is so complex and beautiful He cannot share it with us. We are asked to fight for Him and to trust Him fully. Job knew this. Job ended this chapter with weeping and yet with praise. (I take these verses from The Message) Job showed that he fully trusted God, and he was fully determined to fight on for him.
“18-22 “O Earth, don’t cover up the wrong done to me!
Don’t muffle my cry!
There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me,
in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name—
My Champion, my Friend,
while I’m weeping my eyes out before God.
I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God
as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.”
God was still his Champion. God was still his friend. He knew that in heaven there was someone there to intercede for him, he knew deep down that our Warrior God was still a loving God. We should never forget that.