Friday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
In the book of Job there is a conversation between God and Job that is simply amazing. This conversation is as if it is between two people. The exchange includes no one else, it is a one-on-one relationship. This one-to-one relationship; one God for one people, one God for one nation, is the way the ancient Israelites viewed their relationship with God. Yhwh was there God alone. Yhwh was a God to protect them, chastised them, and lead them into victory over other nations. It was a covenant that had little interaction with the surrounding nations and their people. Yhwh was there God alone. This is not however how Jesus looks at this relationship between Israel’s God and man. The Hebrews might have been the first to form this relationship, the first to form a covenant; but God is not exclusive to one nation. It was not the kingdom of Israel and Judah (or contemporary, “of a man”), but the kingdom of God. Perhaps the ancient Israelites view of their God was somewhat influenced by the city gods of that region. As each city had its own god, perhaps Israel began to view God as theirs alone. Did they misplace the full majesty of God, had they begun to place God as their servant rather than them as servants of God? Did they , the priests with others in authority, begin to place their agendas ahead of YHWH’s?
Think of nighttime and think of a person that wishes to walk around in darkness. To find their way, they grab a flashlight and in this flashlight shines a beam of light in front of them. The light has little influence on the surroundings and simply allows one person or one group of people to navigate the dark. In a sense that was the ancient Israelites view of a relationship with God. One God existed for one group and was exclusive of all others. Now, think of darkness, the darkness of night, and then imagine the approaching dawn. The light does not just shine in one direction, it is ever present. It shines on the whole creation, on the whole kingdom, on the kingdom of God. This is Jesus’s view of the relationship between God and man. One God for all mankind, though perhaps this God chose to be united to one people, so that they might proclaim the splendid majesty of this covenant relationship to the rest.