The assumption that humans and God are equals.
Once upon a time a man was sitting under a big nut tree baring tiny nuts. As he laid there, he began a monologue with God criticizing God’s failure in much of creation. “God” he said, “how come you made this giant tree to bare such tiny nuts and you made such a small vine to hold those gigantic watermelons?” Just as he was chuckling at God, a nut fell on his head to which he replied, “thank God that was not a watermelon” (Zacharias).
In many situations, when life’s events elude our human imagination, we assume that we can give advice to God that would make life smoother. In some cases, we try to help God and some of those assistances have threatened life on this planet as we know it. The creation of many pesticides, genetically modified foods and interference with water bodies are designed contrary to natural laws and have proven dangerous in many cases. The new phenomenon in health science is Crisper – the gene editing tool, which promises to create a better human being at birth, but The American Medical Association is warning of irreversible damage to human biology if Crisper is unleashed. So, many scientists are learning that cooperation with nature is more sustainable than trying to defy God’s creation. In the same way, cooperation with God is more beneficial for us than second-guessing his actions in our lives.
The big assumption.
The big assumption is the belief we have the right to question or defy God’s process on earth. The man named Job, in the Bible, wanted an explanation of his suffering and loss. All his children were killed, he lost all his wealth and belonging, his wife abandoned him, and he finally lost his health almost to the point of death. So, he sought from God a justified explanation for his troubles and affliction (Job 37).
- One of his great and fallacious assumptions was that if he knew the reason for his suffering, or could justify it, that would make things better.
- The other assumption is that God owed him an explanation.
Interestingly, no one questions God when all is fine. When the bills are paid, there is food on the table, no pain in the body and no worries at night, no one seek an explanation from God. Not even Job sought reasoning from God when all was well.
Our assumptions blind us.
God was careful to show Job that in the bigger scheme-of-things, his pain was not as painful as he thought they were. As God prepare to nullify Job’s logic, he told Job, “Now brace yourself like a man and I will question you and you will inform me.” In other words, ‘man up Job!’ God asked Job, “where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb?” Tell me if you understand (Job 38).
Job friends also made some assumptions about life. They concluded that only bad people endure trial. In the same way, we are quick to judge people that find themselves in pain, suffering and loss. Recently my cousin lost his 27-year-old son and some of the gossip is that the son’s death was because of the father’s evil behaviour. Some said that the chickens have come home to roost. Like Eliphaz, Job’s Friend, we make false assumptions about God, about what he does in the lives of others. We need to stop playing God in the lives of other people, but most importantly in our own lives. We do not know which of our hairs will turn grey tomorrow, how can you begin to understand how he is working in your life or the lives of others? How can you Judge what you do not know? Is it possible that the only reason trials come your way is so that God power can be revealed in you – that your life can display the wonderful and powerful hand of God – so that his grace and mercy could be manifested? We need to open our eyes to that possibility.
Stop assuming and cooperate in God’s plan!
God is not trying to confound Job with knowledge, but rather, explaining how much worse his predicament could be. God explanation to Job: could you imagine that the foundation of the earth disappeared, or it fell off its axis; what about the seas having no boundaries? You think you are having a bad day; well maybe I could allow the sea to roam all over the earth without restriction and see how that would compare with your current dilemmas. God in the process asked Job 63 questions for which he had no response.
I have learnt that when you ask God a question and there does not seem to be any response, that is the answer. The answer is it is not your business it is mine says the lord. So, our duty, stand still and see the wisdom of God in action. Stand still in your ignorance an see God’s work. Stand still in hopelessness and see the salvation of the lord. Stop making assumptions about what God is or is not doing and make yourself available for his glory.