Why and Oh

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

The word we use most in this life is, “Why?” and the word we will use most in the next world will be, “Oh!”  The Providence of God is like a Hebrew word: we have to read it backwards.  By the Providence of God I mean that God is in charge and the events of our life have meaning.  Sometimes it is as if we are on the inside of a woven basket.  All the threads that come up on the inside of the basket represent the way we see the things that happen to us, which seem to have no meaning or pattern at all.  If we could just get out of that basket, on the outside we would see beautiful woven patterns.

Job is the biblical example of a man who tried to sort out, by looking inside the basket, what appeared to be the tragic meaninglessness of his life.  It was not until he looked up and saw all his tragic circumstances from God’s perspective that he was moved from asking, “Why?” to exclaiming, “Oh!” (Job 35: 1-7; 40-42)

In Psalm Eleven, verse three, the Psalmist asked a question: “If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” The NIV version of the Bible has a footnote that suggests this alternate reading: “When the foundations of your life are breaking up, what is the Righteous One doing?”

My wife and I have made that question a knee jerk reaction to the events of our life as they happen.  As a result, although we’re not on the other side yet we are already saying, “Oh!”

Will you confront the challenges you encounter daily with that same question?

One Response to Why and Oh

  1. David Wooddell says:

    Thank you Dick for being a wonderful spiritual mentor and having such a profound influence on my life. Your approach to scripture has framed the way I look at scripture and helps me to help others to do the same. I am often reminded of the Businessmen Bible Breakfast at the Newport News Holiday Inn that I attended as a young business guy. Today after 40 years in business I work with business people in the Kansas City marketplace, (with The Navigators) helping them to think and act biblically in their personal and professional lives. Thank you brother for being there for me.

    David Wooddell
    Phil 1:3

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