Monday, January 03, 2011

Through gates of splendor....

I just re-read Elisabeth Elliot's account of her husband's and 4 other men's massacre in her first book Through Gates of Splendor. As motivating and insightful and powerful as the story is, it was her comments written decades later at the end of the book that struck me this time.

Referring to God's conversation with Job, she wrote:
"On and on the unanswerable questions went, overwhelming the man on the ash heap with proofs of divine control, origin, generation, legislation, authority and wisdom. Job's only reply was that he had none."

There is a weakness in our faith when we measure God in a situation and imagine the only "fair" outcome that would make sense of our trials. The only way the murder of the 5 young missionaries (all married with children) could make sense in our understanding of God's dealings with men would be for a revival among the people that killed them to take place.
There wasn't one.

"Where were you when i laid the earth's foundations?"

She goes on to write: "For us widows the question as to why the men who had trusted God to be both shield and defender should be allowed to be speared to death was not one that could be smoothly answered in 1956 nor silenced in 1996. God did not answer Job's question either. Job was living in a mystery-THE MYSTERY OF THE SOVEREIGN PURPOSE OF GOD-and the questions that rose out of the depths of that mystery were answered only by a deeper mystery, that of God Himself."

Praize God their death sent a wave of missionary revival around the world to a certain degree but even beyond that, praize God for their widows who lived the verse
"Though he slays me I will trust Him."