Friday, October 01, 2010

Fwd: The importance of context.doc

The importance of context


A man dressed as a pilot and sporting dark sunglasses is seen leaving the airplane into the tarmac with a dog walking by his side.   Someone inside the terminal waiting to get on the same airplane sees this man with what seems to be a guiding dog and frantically yells out, "The Pilot is blind!"  In an instant most of the crowd, also waiting for the same airplane went to the window, where they saw the man dressed as a pilot sporting dark sunglasses with a guide dog by his side.  Suddenly the eyes of the awaiting crowd turned from the window to the airline employee. Fearing for her safety she calls her superior, who immediately dispatches security and launches a frantic investigation. 


Security struggled to calm down the crowd, but it succeeded with minor difficulties.  As soon as the crowd was calm an airline employee showed up with the news.  "The man you saw is our pilot.  He is not blind.  The dog is not his.  The dog belongs to a blind passenger in our plane.  Our pilot offered to take the dog for a walk." 


When we do not have the complete and or correct information we can reach the wrong conclusions which can lead to bad choices leading to bad consequences.  The same thing happens when we have incorrect and or incomplete information about God.


Let us use the story of Job as an example.  Job is introduced in verses 1 through 5 of the first chapter,


 Job 1: 1There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

 Job 1: 2And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

 Job 1: 3His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Job 1: 4And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

 Job 1: 5And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.


Job was a fortunate man and he seemed to credit God for it.  He also constantly interceded with God for others.  Starting on verse 6 there is a switch in scenes where we are made privy to background information that neither Job nor anyone else in the story has.  The Devil attacks Job while God permits it and seemingly observes and waits.  The rest of the story shows us how this moment in Heaven plays out on earth, specifically in Job and his acquaintances. 


With out the context we have, Job struggled to understand why God would do this to him.  Job's friends, also lacking this context, reached the wrong conclusions about Job and accused Job of suffering the consequences of his own iniquity.  Job defended himself, while pleading to God for an answer.   But, in the end of the story we find that because of this experience Job knew God better and trusted Him more. 


It would behoove us to remember this story and what we learn from it when we go through our own struggles in life.  This is perhaps the meaning of our memory text for this week's lesson,


2 Timothy 3:16-17 (American Standard Version)*

2 Timothy 3:16 Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.


We are to learn from Job's experience.  There is a great controversy in the universe, and it is being played out in our very own lives.  God held Job through this trial and He will hold us also.


Raul Diaz

*The author used this version it is the closest the original language.