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February 4, 2011 – Job 3

Click here to read Job 3 on BibleGateway.com

A few years ago, the big rage was 3-D pictures. If you’re either too big or too little to remember, everyone was making these artistic monstrosities of a bunch of different squiggles and lines. Allegedly, if you looked at these pictures but let your eyes focus on some distant object, like the third moon of Orion’s Belt, somehow you’d get to see a completely awesome 3-D picture. There are those among us who believe that this whole fad was just a massive hoax, and remain bitter about it to this day. But if you wish to give it a shot, just look at the picture here till your eyes “refocus” (air quotes), and enjoy yourself.

According to the faithful, the way to view these pictures is let your eyes relax and not focus directly on the picture. This change in perspective changes what appears to be random chaos into an orderly design. ( You can probably see where we’re going with this. Read on anyways.)

POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE

Today’s chapter gives us a glimpse into the world as we see it as compared with the world as God sees it. Notice in verse 23 how Job says that God has a “hedge” around him. This is the same phrase that Satan uses when he describes Job to God. However, Job and Satan have different opinions of the hedge.

To Satan, the hedge is a shield around Job that won’t allow Satan to attack him. It’s God’s protection around his servant. To Job, it’s a restraint that won’t allow him to move and go do what he wants. Both see the hedge as a block, but Job can’t see the good the hedge is doing, only the bad, and he wonders why God would torture him like that.

This is similar to an electronic fence around a yard to protect a dog. From the dog’s point of view, he can see all the street dogs frolicking in the curb garbage and having a good time in the distance. They seem to have all the best treats, can chase all the dumbest squirrels, and generally live the doggy good life. But every time poor Mr. Housepet tries to join them, he’s restrained by that invisible barrier. Of course, his little doggy noggin can’t comprehend the 4 lane gauntlet that lies right outside that fence; he just hates the fence.

DOGS ARE ALREADY IN HEAVEN

In the same way, we often don’t see the dangers that God protects us from. All we see is the fence that keeps us from joining in the apparent “good times” that are happening outside our cloister. We sigh and look wistfully at the fun “the others” are having, and resign ourselves to the poor, self-sacrficing Christian walk.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Inside the fence is where the real fun is. You think those street dogs get to eat bratwurst off the table when no one is looking? Do you think they get to sit inside by the fireplace when there’s sleet falling from the sky? Do they get the new toys and treats from Dad on occasion? Do they have the security of love around them all the time?

God’s fence is there to protect us, true, but it’s also there to keep us close so he can bless with the good things He has ready for us. Looking longingly at what we can’t have just takes time away from the better joys close at hand.

All it takes is a change in perspective.

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