Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Differentiated Instruction

Rescued Rabbit
Taking off down another Rabbit Trail.
 Flickr photo
"Let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good." Job 34.4 

This morning I read the account of Elihu rebuking Job and his three friends in chapters 33-38. If you're not familiar with the story of Job, here's a synopsis. Wealthy Job lost everything. Three friends come to tell him it's all his fault. Job starts to believe them. Elihu rebukes everybody, then God chides everyone and sets the record straight.

I picture Elihu as this frail old man who has been hovering nearby, watching all the event unfold. He has both the wisdom of age and experience of loss and hope. He's also like the kid who looks up to a hero and realizes they aren't as "super" as he thought. 

After rebuking everyone for their shortsighted, selfish whining, Elihu declare's God's justice. So often we cloak our own selfishness under the guise of fairness. God's word is truth. We must purpose in our hearts to do what is right, not what is right in our own eyes. There is an absolute truth beyond me: God. Elihu declares that we must choose right and good. It reminds me of Joshua's plea to the Israelite people in Joshua 24

But while the choice is ours, never let that elevate your thinking. We are not gods who can choose our fate. God is still sovereign and master of all. In 34.14-15 Elihu reminds us that God holds together our very existence by His own will. It is because of God's almighty power that I must choose to do what is right in spite of affliction or sorrow or selfish desire (36.21) You see, God uses all those things to teach me more about Himself for there is no better teacher (36.22) He has differentiated my instruction. God can take all the circumstances combined with my choices and use them to teach me, to develop my character, to increase my knowledge and understanding of Him.

There are no rabbit trails with God. He does not get distracted or lack a lesson plan. "Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen." Job 37.13 What student wouldn't want to follow the teacher who can apply every moment of life, every thought, word, and deed to a deeper and better understanding of truth?