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Can Man Have Access to God?

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Job 22-24: Can Man Have Access to God?

The idea of coming before God and the Creator of all things is an overwhelming concept for man. Being able to have access to His majesty and power, and to be the recipient of His knowledge is incomprehensible. David proclaimed in his Psalm,

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" (Psa. 8:3-9).

When we try to fully grasp the designs and purposes of God, we have more questions than answers. We cannot begin to fathom His righteous judgments! Our limited vision and understanding is infinitely less than that of Almighty God! Paul's declared,

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom. 11:33).

The Lord God of heaven has given man access to Himself. He has revealed His will. He has given to us "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3). However, there are some things we cannot know. Therefore, we must trust God and look ahead with the eye of faith (Heb. 11:3). Moses told the children of Israel,

"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deut. 29:29).

So, our access to God is limited by what God has chosen to reveal to us.

It shall be my purpose in this paper to discuss the subject of "man's access to God" in light of my studies in the book of Job. Did Job have access to God? Has God provided a way for man to approach Him? In the various dispensations of time, what contact, what communication or what fellowship has there been between God and mankind? These are some questions we should consider as we study the book of Job, and especially as we look at chapters 22 through 24 1.

Job's Access To God

The opening chapter of the Bible states that God created the world and everything in it in six days. Six times it is said that God saw what He had made and "it was good", but after He made man, God considered His creation to be "very good". Evidently, man was the crown of everything God had made since He "created man in His own image" (Gen. 1:27). In view of the fact that "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24), we understand that fleshly man was made after the spiritual likeness of God. Unlike the plant and animal life, which God created first, man was given an eternal spirit (Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7). Man occupied a special place in God's creation and was given dominion and rule over all the earth (Gen. 1:26). Fellowship existed between God the Creator and man the created until man broke that fellowship by way of sin (Isa. 59:1-2). After that, God began revealing His plan to reconcile man to Himself. This was to be accomplished through the blood of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:8-10; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Heb. 2:17; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Shortly after sin entered the world, God began teaching man that animal sacrifices were to be offered and that only blood could atone for sin. Life is found in the blood (Lev. 17:11), however, it would later be understood that those animal blood sacrifices, which were offered by faith, were intended to be only temporary (Heb. 10:1-4). In the "fullness of time" (Gal. 4:4), God's plan for redeeming man was totally revealed and recorded in His inspired Word.

The book of Job gives us insight into God's dealings with man during the first period of history, which has often been called the "patriarchal age". Though the date of its writing is uncertain, the circumstances and setting of the book of Job seem to point to that early time when God spoke to the heads of the families. In the book there is no mention made of the Levitical priesthood or things pertaining to the Mosaic Law, but rather we find Job offering animal sacrifices to God in behalf of his children (Job 1:5). The Bible shows how that God spoke directly to Job and to other patriarchs during this time period. The scriptures do not say how often He spoke with them, nor do we have a written record of all that God said to every family head. We must assume that, in whatever way God communicated with the patriarchs, He provided them with enough knowledge of His will so that they would be able to live by faith and worship Him acceptably (Gen. 4:3-7; Heb. 11:4). We know that Job worshiped God correctly, in the way he had been instructed, because God looked upon him as "a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil" (Job 1:8). If he had he not followed divine teaching concerning worship, Job would surely have been rebuked for his disobedience, just as Cain was admonished.

"And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" (Gen. 4:6-7).

Like other men of faith we can read about in the Bible, Job was able to come before the Lord. He worshipped in times of prosperity and in times of bereavement. Even after the sudden loss of his wealth and all seven of his children in just one day, the thoughts of his heart were directed toward God.

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (Job 1:20-22).

In What Way Did Job Have Access To God?

Job heard the word of God. He feared and reverenced the Lord. He offered burnt offerings



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