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3-1-4 Job And David

David in his drive to spiritual maturity had a similar sense: " Such knowledge (the basic knowledge of God which, in the context, he has just outlined) is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it" (Ps. 139:6). David doesn't mean that the things of God are too wonderful for him to understand, and he just quits in trying to handle them. Throughout the Psalms, David repeatedly speaks of the wonder of God, how he wishes to extol the wonder of God, and how he mourns the tragedy of the fact that Israel generally had not grasped the wonder of their God. He asks for his eyes to be opened so that the wonder of God's ways might be made known to him (Ps. 119:18). The Hebrew word translated " wonder" or " wondrous" was evidently one of David's favourites. Yet he says that although he sees the wonder of the knowledge of God, he feels it is " too wonderful for me" - perhaps " for me" is where the emphasis should be. It may be that David spoke of the knowledge of God as being " too wonderful for me" with his eye on Job's experience. If Ps. 139 was written in the aftermath of his physical and spiritual crisis at the time of Bathsheba, David would have seen himself as coming out of it with the same sense of spiritual growth as Job after his months of crisis: " Now mine eye seeth thee...I am vile...things too wonderful for me" all have a certain ring with the sentiments David expresses after Bathsheba. It can be demonstrated that the repentance and restoration of David after the Bathsheba incident is used, through New Testament allusion, as a prototype for the spiritual growth of each of us. This means that the terrible, crushing humbling of Job, of David, of Moses, must in some way at some time be replicated in the experience of every true saint, who struggles up the same graph of spiritual growth. From each of us there must be wrung the deep, essential realization: " I am vile... I know (now) that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee... therefore have I uttered that I understood thee; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not" .  

And yet in our humanity, as soon as we are faced with such situations we cry out to God to take them from us; and not only so, when we see our brethren in such positions, or approaching them, we plead desperately that they will be spared. And yet ultimately, we must each pass through the valley of the shadows, and learn our lessons. There is nothing wrong with crying out for deliverance- indeed, we are bidden do so. But here is one of the essential paradoxes at the very root of our relationship with God: we know such crises are what we need, and yet we cry out for them never to happen to us, or be taken away. This, it seems to me, is yet one more irreconcilable paradox in spiritual life.

David several times speaks of the need to fear God and ‘depart from evil’, and the blessedness of the man who does so (Ps. 34:14; 37:27); and Solomon repeats his father repeatedly on this point (Prov. 3:7; 4:27; 13:19; 14:16; 16:6,17). Yet they are surely alluding to Job, who feared God and “eschewed” [s.w. ‘depart from’] evil (Job 1:1). Without doubt, these allusions indicate that they saw Job as symbolic of all the righteous. And this is no mere piece of painless Bible exposition; Job in all his turmoil really is the pattern for each one of us, the path through which we each must pass.