Work of His Hands

The work of His hands.  cropped-flowers-1.jpg

A comforting idea that is in poems, sermons, and song is that we are “the works of God’s hands.”  Job and David both used this beautiful idea in their writings, but with two different perspectives. We will start with Job.

In Job 10:3 Job is answering one of his tormentors, Bildad, in his third discourse of his book.  Job’s bitterness is evident in this discourse; it is directed at Bildad and God.  (Job 9:33, part of the discourse, is a plea for the work of Jesus as being an arbitrator.)  The end of verse three is still directed at God and says, “While you (God) smile on the schemes of the wicked.(NIV)”  If we look at the original words we find the word “work” with slightly different meanings.  The word work in Job is ygiya it carries the idea of hard toiling/labor.  This fits in with the general tone of how Job is viewing himself and his relationship with God at that moment in his life. It is not pretty and Job is upset.

David uses the phrase in Psalm 138:8.  David uses a different word for work, his is maaseh and it still means work or labor but Vine’s Dictionary says it has to do with farming, artisans working, or the work of praising God.  It has a positive context as compared to ygiya. This fits very well with Psalm 138 and its overall upbeat message.

Even though the general tone of Psalm 138 is positive I can’t help but think it was written at a time when David needed to encourage himself. (ex. After Bathsheba, when he was on the run from Absalom, or when Ziklag was burned.)  It seems he is reminding himself and God of things that he has done and has happened. So the last line of verse eight with the word “abandon” in it puzzled me; it is the reason I think it was written during a time of duress.  It speaks to David’s plea not to be left alone at this time.

“The work of God’s hand.” Two men both referring to themselves as God’s handiwork, but I believe both from a different mindset.

Reflections on Job – His Friends

Job’s friends as compared to the soils in the Parable of the Sower

The comparison I saw was Job’s friends would be the people that would come from contact with the Word in the Parable of the Sower.  Job’s friends were not with out knowledge of God and His ways, just as the people in the parable may not have left the church and have some understanding of God.  Both of these groups miss the truth of God and would/did generously sprinkle in a good sounding philosophy.

Eliphaz (means God of gold,Strong’s 463 ) represents those that fell along the path and the devil takes away the word from their hearts so they may not believe and be saved. The verse that portrays Eliphaz is Job 4:12 and 15 + 16 – “A word was secretly brought to me” and “a spirit glided past me … but I could not tell what it was.” These are the people who missed God but still had an experience that was supernatural.  They know something exist but total surrender to Jesus will never take place because they are happy with the “higher” experience they have had.

Bildad (meaning of name unknown) represents those that fell on the rock and had no root so in the time of testing they fall away. The verse that portrays Bildad is Job 18:2 – When will you end these speeches?  Be sensible and then we can talk.  “Bildads” actually start to grow in God but hit a place where going deeper is just not possible for them.  They know the “language” but will always go to a natural solution with God as a cover instead of Jesus as the solution doing what naturally has to be done.

Zopher (means departing,Strong’s 6691) represents those that fell among the thorns and were choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures and do not mature.  The verses that portray Zopher are Job 11: 6 and 20:3; 11:6 says, “For true wisdom has two sides” and 20:3 says, “I hear a rebuke that dishonors me and my understanding inspires me to reply.”  “Zophers” may be the hardest to detect because they are always in church or at Bible Study but they become easily offended an can drift between opinions very easily.  Who knows, if they could/would leave the weeds they would be ok.

Elihu (means God of him,Strong’s 453) represents those that fell on good soil and have a noble and good heart so they hear, retain, persevere, and produce a crop. The verse that portrays Elihu is Job 37: 23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in Wheatpower; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.  Now “Elihus” are not always perfect and sometimes a little rough around the edges but they will grow and produce a good crop.  A point that is easily missed is that these are the majority of the people in the Church not the other three.

See Job, Luke 8:1–15, Mark 4:1-20, Matthew 13:2-23 all verses are from the NIV.

the Picture is from

Lightning – Consider God’s Wonders

Job 37: 14 “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. 15 Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? (NIV)

Lightning in the Bible is a wonder of God that biblical man attributes as His weapon and an awesome act of God that is used to describe glorious things.  Elihu in this verse ask a question,” Do you know how He makes lightning flash?” Fast-forward to 2014 and you would imagine that we know the mechanism and principles of how such a common occurrence as lightning is controlled.  The truth is we have a better understanding of clouds and lightning than Elihu and Job but we do not understand completely how this wondrous and awesome act of God happens.

∞Father, help us to always consider Your wonders and to stay in awe of Your mighty works.

See Comparison of Jeremiah 10 and 51 for more on lightning.   good graphics