We cannot presume to know what is in the mind of God.


Friday, 10/5/12

In the book named after him, after Job was deprived of family, wealth and health,
four friends came to straighten out his thinking. They told him that his misfortunes could only have come as God’s punishment for his hidden sins. Job, in his four lengthy replies to them, insisted that he was blameless in God’s eyes.

In today’s reading from near the end of the book, God appeared to chastise both Job and his friends for presuming to say they knew what was in his mind. He alone knows how the waters of the sea came to be there. He alone knows how the sun was born. Who were they to say they knew what was in his mind?

There is an image that occurs to me to express the impossibility of our knowing God’s thoughts. I say my chance of coming to know God’s thoughts is similar to what a flea crawling around in my hair would have at guessing the thoughts going on beneath his little feet.

Even so, we should credit modern science at coming to grasp some of the things that were mysteries to ancient men. The moderns have come to “comprehend the breadth of the earth.” They have unlocked some of the workings of DNA. Instead of causing people today to take pride in such discoveries, they have brought us to more admire the depth of God’s wisdom.

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