Scripture That Is Difficult To Understand…

There are passages in Scripture that dumbfound me (Which isn’t hard).  They make my brain overheat so that eventually I just throw up my hands and declare… “God I don’t understand it, but You put it in Your Word… so I believe it.”  Maybe some of you can give some thoughts to help me in understanding better.

The first one is from Job.  To begin with God brings up Job as a topic of discussion with Satan.  Satan asserts (Paraphrased), “You’ve been protecting him from me.  Let me get at him and he’ll curse you to your face!”  God allows it (to a point) so Satan kills all Job’s kids and takes all his possessions.  Job says, “The Lord gives and takes away… blessed be His name.”  Then Satan says… “Skin for skin.  Let me touch his body and he will curse you to your face!”  God give Satan permission (to a point) and again Job doesn’t sin.

There is a lot to read between the first two chapters where Satan attacks… Job questions… “friends” offer horrible suggestions… and God questions Job.  At the end of which Job submits to the sovereign will of God.  I really have no trouble from Job 1:1 to about Job 42:10.  My trouble in understanding comes at Job 42:11 where it is written…

Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him.

Did you see it?  “The EVIL that THE LORD had brought upon him…”  The writer of Job could have written that different… but He didn’t… because he was under The Spirit’s guidance.  I’ve turned those words over in my mind many times and I always come out with the same conclusion.  It is what it is.  What is written has been written by God.  The problem isn’t with the text… it’s with me.

Then I realized this wasn’t the first time this was written in Job.  In Chapter 2 Job has been struck by Satan with sores from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet (v 7).  His wife suggests that Job curse God so his life would end (v 9).  Then Job answers her by saying as recorded in verse 10…

But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive EVIL?”

Job attributes the evil in His life as somehow coming from God!  (Pause)  Let me show you another one.  This one has to do with Saul.  Just by reading it I think you’ll get a sense of the struggle I have to which I haven’t yet found an answer I’m satisfied.  It’s found in 1 Samuel 16:14…

Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.

Here’s one more is the same genre.  Some might call this an example of a contradiction… I prefer to call it my own lack of understanding at the present.  There are two passages that refer to the same event.  In one passage Satan is the activating force… in the other it is God is the instigating force.  I think I have an answer for this one I’ll give after you read the texts…

1 Chronicles 21:1 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.

2 Samuel 24:1 Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He (God) incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”

Which is it… Satan incited David to number Israel or God did?  (Pause)  The answer I got in seminary was this: “In the mind of the writers of the Old Testament God was ultimately behind all things… either providentially causing, OR permissively allowing everything.  Throughout human history God has used Satan as a pawn to accomplish His will.  This does not diminish God’s holiness or perfection in any way.”

I can accept that because it does make sense… but I still scratch my head over these things.  I guess there are sometimes I read the Scriptures and come to the same place as when Paul wrote this in Romans 11:33-36…

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!  34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?” 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.



One comment on “Scripture That Is Difficult To Understand…

  1. Searching says:

    Funny…I’ve seen that same look on YOUR face Ron!! Blessings!

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