God’s Disposition Has Never Been Hidden From Man—Man’s Heart Has Strayed From God
If I did not fellowship about these things, none of you would be able to behold the true disposition of God in the stories of . This is fact. That is because, though these biblical stories recorded some of the things that God did, God spoke but a few words, and did not directly introduce His disposition or openly issue forth His will to man. Later generations have regarded these records as nothing more than stories, and so it appears to people that God hides Himself from man, that it is not God’s person that is hidden from man, but His disposition and will. After My fellowship today, do you still feel that God is fully hidden from man? Do you still believe that God’s disposition is hidden from man?
Since the time of creation, God’s disposition has been in step with His work. It has never been hidden from man, but fully publicized and made plain to man. Yet, with the passing of time, man’s heart has grown ever more distant from God, and as man’s corruption has become deeper, man and God have become further and further apart. Slowly but surely, man has disappeared from the eyes of God. Man has become unable to “see” God, which has left him without any “news” of God; thus, he does not know whether God exists, and even goes so far as to completely deny the existence of God. Consequently, man’s incomprehension of God’s disposition and what He has and is is not because God is hidden from man, but because his heart has turned away from God. Though man believes in God, man’s heart is without God, and he is ignorant of how to love God, nor does he want to love God, for his heart never draws close to God and he always avoids God. As a result, man’s heart is distant from God. So where is his heart? In fact, man’s heart has not gone anywhere: Instead of giving it to God or revealing it to God to see, he has kept it for himself. That’s despite the fact that some often pray to God and say, “O God, look upon my heart—you know all that I think,” and some even swear to let God look upon them, that they may be punished if they break their oath. Though man allows God to look within his heart, this does not mean that he is capable of obeying the orchestrations and arrangements of God, nor that he has left his fate and prospects and his all under the control of God. Thus, regardless of the oaths you make to God or your attitude toward Him, in God’s eyes your heart is still closed to Him, for you only allow God to look upon your heart but do not permit Him to control it. In other words, you have not given your heart to God at all, and only speak nice-sounding words for God to hear; your various crafty intentions, meanwhile, you hide from God, together with your intrigues, scheming, and plans, and you clutch your prospects and fate in your hands, deeply afraid that they will be taken away by God. Thus, God never beholds man’s sincerity toward Him. Though God does observe the depths of man’s heart, and can see what man is thinking and wishes to do in his heart, and can see what things are kept within his heart, man’s heart does not belong to God, he has not given it over to God’s control. Which is to say, God has the right to observe, but He does not have the right to control. In the subjective consciousness of man, man does not want or intend to leave himself to the mercy of God. Not only has man closed himself off to God, but there are even people who think of ways to wrap up their hearts, using smooth talk and flattery to create a false impression and gain the trust of God, and concealing their true face out of sight from God. Their aim in not allowing God to see is to not allow God to perceive how they really are. They do not want to give their hearts to God, but to keep them for themselves. The subtext of this is that what man does and what he wants is all planned, calculated, and decided by man himself; he does not require the participation or intervention of God, much less does he need the orchestrations and arrangements of God. Thus, whether in regard to the commands of God, His commission, or the requirements that God makes of man, man’s decisions are based on his own intentions and interests, on his own state and circumstances at the time. Man always uses the knowledge and insights that he is familiar with, and his own intellect, to judge and select the path he should take, and does not allow the interference or control of God. This is the heart of man that God sees.
From the beginning until today, only man has been capable of conversing with God. That is, among all living things and creatures of God, none but man has been able to converse with God. Man has ears that enable him to hear, and eyes that let him see, he has language, and his own ideas, and free will. He is possessed of all that is required to hear God speak, and understand , and accept God’s commission, and so God confers all His wishes upon man, wanting to make man a companion who is of the same mind with Him and who can walk with Him. Since He began to manage, God has been waiting for man to give his heart to Him, to let God purify and equip it, to make him satisfactory to God and loved by God, to make him revere God and shun evil. God has ever looked forward to and awaited this outcome. Are there any such people among the records of the Bible? That is, are there any in the Bible capable of giving their hearts to God? Is there any precedent before this age? Today, let us continue reading the accounts of the Bible and take a look at whether what was done by this figure—Job—has any connection to the topic of “giving your heart to God” that we’re talking about today. Let us see whether Job was satisfactory to God and loved by God.
What is your impression of Job? Citing original scripture, some people say that Job “feared God, and eschewed evil.” “Feared God, and eschewed evil”: Such is the original assessment of Job recorded in the Bible. If you used your own words, how would you pin down Job? Some people say that Job was a good and reasonable man; some say that he had true ; some say that Job was a righteous and humane man. You have seen the faith of Job, which is to say, in your hearts you attach great importance to and are envious of Job’s faith. Today, then, let us look at what was possessed by Job that God is pleased with him so. Next, let us read the scriptures below.
1. Assessments of Job by God and in the Bible
(Job 1:1) There 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 1:5) And 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 1:8) And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil?
What is the key point that you see in these passages? These three brief passages of scripture all relate to Job. Though short, they clearly state what kind of person he was. Through their description of Job’s everyday behavior and his conduct, they tell everyone that, rather than being groundless, God’s assessment of Job was well-founded. They tell us that whether it be man’s appraisal of Job (Job 1:1), or God’s appraisal of him (Job 1:8), both are the result of Job’s deeds before God and man (Job 1:5).
First, let us read passage number one: “There 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.” The first assessment of Job in the Bible, this sentence is the author’s appraisal of Job. Naturally, it also represents man’s assessment of Job, which is “that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” Next, let us read of God’s assessment of Job: “there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil” (Job 1:8). Of the two, one came from man, and one originated from God; they are two assessments with the same content. It can be seen, then, that Job’s behavior and conduct were known to man, and were also praised by God. In other words, Job’s conduct before man and his conduct before God were the same; he laid his behavior and motivation before God at all times, so that they might be observed by God, and he was one that feared God and shunned evil. Thus, in the eyes of God, of the people on earth only Job was perfect and upright, and one that feared God and shunned evil.
From God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
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