Of Job and Jesus

My latest challenge is to understand how God, the God who healed EVERYONE He came across when He walked among us, could be the same God of Job chapter 1.  I know that God is perfectly consistent with Himself; that He loves us and has always loved us; that He paid a sufficient price for us to be healed in every way; and that the Old Testament is equally consistent with the New, and that no interpretation or revelation can contradict the inspired Word of God.  I know that Jesus is perfect Theology.  So, even as I wrestle with these two seemingly contradictory truths, Job and Jesus, I know that God will take me deeper into Himself, into His truth, and that I will therefore serve Him better for it.

Theology is like a horseshoe.  Cheap horseshoes are bought ready made, one size fits most.  They don’t fit the foot, and the foot does not fit the shoe.  And soon after horse and rider begin to make demands of  the poorly shod feet, the shoe begins to move  until the nails loosen and the shoe is thrown.  The result is  that the horse is no longer suited to the rider, no longer of use to the master.  Even worse, the horse may go lame when the demands made on it cause permanent damage to the feet.

Religious orthodoxy develops through history, impacted by many factors that usually warp the truth to suit man’s desire for domination, control, or at best desire to suit his own immediate needs.  Denominations differentiate themselves via doctrine that tends towards division rather than finding unity in God Himself, and His Spirit who reveals Him to us: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”  (Eph 4:4-7)

Theology that is off-the-shelf, pat, a verse for every occasion, accepted without understanding from denomination or seminary, is a poor footing from which to live,  serve God, and minister to those around us.  God never meant us to swallow doctrine without great wrestling.  Paul tells us to be like the Bereans, to test teachings in the Word.  But not just intellectually studying the bible.  Theology must be tested in the heat of life, tested by trials and tribulations.  Each element pounded and fitted by the Holy Spirit, not to suit our convenience, but truth tested in the truth of life.

Jesus attacked orthodoxy in the Pharisees:  they made an idol of the Old Testament and neglected to let the Word of God take them into experiencing God.   “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” (Matt 23:23)

The good blacksmith heats each shoe in his forge.  He then gently lifts each foot  and, while cradling it on his lap  at what can only be done at great exertion and pain, he checks the fit.  He pounds the red hot shoe  with hammer on anvil.   While hot he rechecks the fit.  He pounds it some more until the fit is almost perfect, and then he presses the red hot shoe into the foot,  searing the hoof into a now perfect match: shoe and hoof suited one for the other, ready to meet the most arduous demands of horse and rider.

I’ve read some of the commentaries on Job, and have never been satisfied.  And even less so now that I’m discovering more of the Lover my God is.  Would I grow as a saint, as a man of God (that we’re all called to be and become) if I swallowed an easy doctrinal position and dispensed it like pap to a world starving for real nourishment. Much better to admit that this mystery remains to be unraveled by precious revelation of the Spirit of God, from and out of the Word of God, always measured against the Word of God, seared into me so as to be ready for action and service.

God is like the blacksmith.  He lovingly fashions us at great cost to himself.   But God Himself stooped down to meet us, and hung on a cross, enduring the ultimate sacrifice that we might know Him.  And even now, the Holy Spirit bears a sacrifice almost as great, allowing Himself to indwell and empower sinful man.  Then, having been shod with the gospel of peace, we co-labor as sons and daughters with the King and creator of the universe to proclaim His salvation to the world.

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About Franco Guerri

Born and raised in Rome Italy; immigrated to the US at ten; UC Berkeley activist during the Vietnam antiwar era; Hollywood assistant cameraman and film editor; spent the next few years seeking God, praying and meditating in France and the US; married 30 years to a beautiful artist/designer wife with whom he co-labors; two amazing sons; post graduate studies in engineering and Bible; discovered God as a personal relationship and the Cross as the bridge to Him; started and managed two successful manufacturing businesses in California and Montana. Now residing in Longmont, Colorado, close to his two sons and their families. Among other endeavors, he is writing a movie script about an Iraq war veteran who loses both his legs in the war.
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7 Responses to Of Job and Jesus

  1. Tim Shey says:

    This is excellent. Great insights. “Theology is like a horseshoe . . .” I love it.

    These are three very good paragraphs:

    “Theology that is off-the-shelf, pat, a verse for every occasion, accepted without understanding from denomination or seminary, is a poor footing from which to live, serve God, and minister to those around us. God never meant us to swallow doctrine without great wrestling. Paul tells us to be like the Bereans, to test teachings in the Word. But not just intellectually studying the bible. Theology must be tested in the heat of life, tested by trials and tribulations. Each element pounded and fitted by the Holy Spirit, not to suit our convenience, but truth tested in the truth of life.

    “Jesus attacked orthodoxy in the Pharisees: they made an idol of the Old Testament and neglected to let the Word of God take them into experiencing God. ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.’ (Matt 23:23)

    “The good blacksmith heats each shoe in his forge. He then gently lifts each foot and, while cradling it on his lap at what can only be done at great exertion and pain, he checks the fit. He pounds the red hot shoe with hammer on anvil. While hot he rechecks the fit. He pounds it some more until the fit is almost perfect, and then he presses the red hot shoe into the foot, searing the hoof into a now perfect match: shoe and hoof suited one for the other, ready to meet the most arduous demands of horse and rider.”

    The last paragraph from above (about the blacksmith) somehow reminds me of a short story that I had published by Ethos Magazine back in 1995; it is very autobiographical and very prophetic:

    High Plains Drifter (short story)
    https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/high-plains-drifter-short-story/

    • Thanks, Tim. I’ll be reading your story. Check out my new posting: a word for 2017. Hope you like it. I think it applies to you. Please take it as a personal word. Blessings my friend.

  2. sauce man says:

    you are too awsome Franco God broke the mold when he designed you . Hope to see you thurs Stan

  3. Patrizia says:

    Ciao, Franco! Thank you for your thoughts today…they spoke to my heart and I absolutely love that you are doing this. Reaching out to others and sharing “truth” so that we might better understand out loving “blacksmith”…our Lord. I agree that it’s not so much in the study of the bible that we learn about about Jesus as it is how we work in the trenches so that others might see Him through how we live our lives. I’ll call you soon…I need my Franco fix!
    Love you dearly, your Cuz (your S.B.A.M.)

    • My dearest Sister By Another Mother! Thank you too for the encouragemnt; it means so much.
      Just a comment about, not so much “studying” the Word, but being in the Word. Studying implies intellectual process. When we’re in the Word, we understand through our heart and then through our re-generated mind. The Word floats around in there, and God uses it like a keyboard in order to communicate eternal truth. That is why Jeannie says that it resonates with her, and I think it does with you too. Because your spirit recognizes something that nourishes us from the inside out. I believe that is a type of discerning of spirits gift: an inner apparatus that helps us identify truth. Blessings!

  4. Jeannie Gandler says:

    What beautiful insight Franco. And so right on. We are each the individual God made us – to accept, wrestle, question, pray, grow in our own unique way. Writings like this resonate with me, and indicate how much time, thought and prayer you dedicate to your walk with our Lord. Thank you for sharing. Love you tons!

    • That really blesses me, Jeannie. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I wouldn’t so much mind negative reactions as no reactions at all. Your dear sister assured me this morning that God appreciates those who wrestle; He seems to have been partial to Jacob (Gen.32). Thanks again for reading and encouraging me. Blessings onthe whole clan!

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