WORD STUDY – REASON יקה
Job 13:3: “Surely I would speak to the Almighty and I desire to reason with God.”
I really can’t blame Job for wanting to reason with God. After all, God can be so unreasonable at times. I know I would like to just sit down with Him and explain my circumstances. Surely once I explain everything He will come around, see the error of His way and reverse the situation I find myself in. Not only is poor Job is being afflicted but then he has to listen to his friends, the experts, explain why he is suffering.
You know, about 500 years almost to this day a monk named Martin Luther tacked 99 thesis on the Wittenberg door and started the reformation. Few Christians really understand the underlying reason for the reformation. As a result they do not see some parallels to the church today, I mean the Protestant church today.
Everyone thinks the doctrine in their denomination and church teaching is the correct doctrine, they never stop to consider who came up with this doctrine in the first place. They just know that some learned men and women, mostly men, in their denomination somewhere in their history declared what is truth.
You see what Martin Luther came to understand and what many Christians are coming to understand is that truth is determined by the power structure of the church. Martin Luther was a scholar and studied the Bible in the Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Aramaic. He found some things that just did not square with the teachings of the church. This really bothered him, he loved the church and wanted to obey but how could he obey teachings that did not match what he felt the Holy Spirit was revealing to him.
In the Diet of Worms he appeared before the Holy Roman Emperor and the church’s main theologian John Eck thinking he would finally get to debate these issues and get some answers. Instead he was given just one question, would he recant all these issues he raised. Martin Luther replied that he would gladly recant if they could prove he was wrong. He wanted them to prove he was wrong so he could go back to his peaceful life as a monk. But they would not, they could not and thus he was excommunicated and became an outlaw to the church. Some years ago many pastors lost their pulpits during the charismatic movement. The power structure in their church determined that speaking in tongues was no Scriptural and thus if these pastors could not abide by the church doctrine, they were forced out. These pastors had no chance to defend themselves, it was establish doctrine in the church and you either abide by that doctrine or your out.
Just like in Job’s day, his friends were convinced they had the truth and if Job did not buy into their doctrine then he was just a heretic. Job could not reason with his friend so all he had was to try and reason with God.
But seriously, can we really go to God, reason with Him and persuade Him to change His mind? No doubt our intercessory prayers will change God’s direction, but that is a matter of submitting our wills to Him. The Hebrew word for reason is something different. This word is yaqah which means to argue, plead, contend or reason; all with the purpose of showing how someone is wrong in their thinking and should change their mind. Can we really argue with God and show Him that He is being unreasonable or that He has not completely thought out a matter? That His whole thinking on a matter is wrong and we are right and He should reverse His actions?
But if our lexicons tell us the word reason yaqah means to argue and contend, then we have no choice because that is what the word yaqah really means. But who says our lexicons and Strong’s are the final word? As I go through Jewish literature I find many many other possibilities. You see it was the elites in the Christian power structure that gave us these various definitions for Hebrew words. Yet, who says they are the final source? I sure don’t, not when there is a world of information from the people of the Old Testament themselves, the guardians of the Hebrew Language, the Jews. Christian commentaries and lexicons are only my beginning.
So let’s take for example today’s word yaqah which our lexicon says mean to argue, plead, content or reason. It is spelled Yod, Qop and Hei. The Yod represents a clarification of God’s priorities, the Qop shows the development of a strong kavanah or direction of the heart and the Hei pictures one listening for the still small voice of God. Putting this together you have yaqah as meaning more than Job just trying to reason or argue with God what he might have been trying to do was plead with God to clarify His priorities Yod and once he understood what God’s priorities were he would be able to set the direction of his heart Qop and listen to the still small voice of God Hei. Man’s reasoning involves opinions, many times bias opinions and sometimes even from people who secretly are glad to see you suffer and would like to rub it in.
Not God, God has no need to rub it in. He understands your suffering and His heart aches for you. He is the ultimate power structure and He will not condemn you but lead you into the truth. He has given us the Holy Spirit to direct our hearts.
As Job’s friends tried to reason out his suffer, Job simply wanted to know what God’s priorities were. Job realized that God had a priority over his own comfort level and Job was fine with that, he just wanted to know what that priority was so God could set his heart in the right direction and he could hear God’s voice. Job wasn’t interested in his friends opinions as to why he was suffering, he was more interested in knowing God’s priorities so he could have a heart that was right and open to hear God’s voice. If suffering he must endure, then suffering he would endure so long as his heart was right and he could hear God’s voice.
The pronoun ani which we render as I comes from a root word anah which has a secondary meaning of moaning, suffering or having sorrow. Maybe a secondary rendering of this verse could be “Surely, my sufferings will speak to the Almighty and my sufferings desire to know God’s priority so my heart will follow the right direction and hear God’s still small voice.”
The point is, when Job needed answers he went to God not to a human source. Too many pastors and friends take themselves too seriously, they want to try to explain the reason for you problem and offer solutions when what they really should be doing to directing you to the ultimate power source to guide you to truth. To pray with you, share Scripture with you let you find God’s purpose in your situation, not condemn you or accuse you and offer non Scriptural solutions like Job’s friends.