Cause and Effect

“For according to the work of a man he will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him. Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice.”
Job 34:11-12

In the early 1980’s I was fascinated with computers. My dad bought us first a Radio Shack TRS-80 and then, soon after, an Apple ][.

He had his own computer consulting firm and I worked with him. He encouraged me to learn how to program computers and I started with BASIC programming (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code).

But this programing language was too, well, basic to do what my dad wanted his company to be able to do, so he encouragement me to learn Assembly Language programming. I was soon in over my head. I just didn’t have the capacity to learn this more complex programming.

I had a basic (no pun intended) understanding of how computers worked – and still do – but most of what computers do and can do is beyond me.

And that brings us to Elihu’s continued discourse with Job and his three friends.

Elihu’s understanding of how God works is incomplete – as it would be for any human. We simply do not have the capacity to fully understand God.

But he knows enough to tell Job that he (Job) also doesn’t know how God works!

We all cannot understand God fully.

This is why God has revealed what he has in Scripture. God does want us to know him better than we do. So God reveals what he knows we can handle in his Word.

One of those revelations is often misunderstood and Elihu calls Job and his three friends out on one of these misunderstandings.

God will pay back people according to what they have done, good for good and evil for evil.

But the misunderstanding is that if I’m good, I will receive good because of it. If I’m evil, I will receive evil because of it.

The truth, however, is revealed in Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-10, and Hebrews 11:6.

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

In short, doing evil is equated with unbelief and that is the cause of damnation. But doing good is the result of salvation, which comes from God alone by grace alone through faith alone revealed in Scripture alone.

I admit, I cannot understand how this can be. But I believe that it is how it is. It takes faith, and that is something that is also a gift from God.

And it is comforting to know that God loves me, gives me faith to accept the things I can’t understand, and to be okay with that.

©2017 True Men Ministries


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