Building a Life with God
“…the paths of all who forget God [wither]; the hope of the godless shall perish. His confidence is severed, and his trust is a spider’s web. He leans against his house, but it does not stand; he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.” (Job 8:13-15)
“The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.” (Proverbs 14:11)
Yesterday I was having a conversation with some friends about different types of houses we had lived in. When I was in my mid-20s, I rented a one hundred and fifty-year-old stone house in Maryland, in beautiful horse country. The house was constructed of large stones, resulting in exterior walls that measured about 1.5 feet in width. The inside of the walls was the exposed stone—so the only thing between you and the weather was, you guessed it, stone. I am sure that the house will stand for many more decades. Consider a house like that one compared to a spider’s web, which is brushed away with the sweep of a hand. Here is the difference between one who trusts in the Lord and flourishes and someone who forgets God, whose hope perishes. “The spider’s web, spun with great skill, but easily swept away, represents a man’s pretensions to religion when without the grace of God in his heart.” (1)
John Gill describes how we might forget God. “Who forget that there is a God; he is not in all, and scarce in any of their thoughts, and they live without him in the world; who forget the works of God, of creation and providence, in which there is a glorious display of his being and perfections; who forget the benefits and blessings of his goodness they are every day partakers of, and are not thankful for them; and who forget the word, worship, and ordinances of God…[who] may carry their heads high in a profession of religion, and make a fair show in the flesh while it is a time of outward prosperity with them, but when tribulation arises on account of religion, they are presently offended, and apostatize; being destitute of the true grace of God, and having the root of the matter in them, they wither of themselves.” (2) The spider spins its web out of its silk, dependent entirely upon itself for its life, food, and refuge. We are like spiders spinning our webs of trust and dependence when we forget that without recognizing the grace of God in Christ given to us we are quickly swept away into a world of other webs and accumulated dust.
Our homes represent our refuges and shelter, our places of rest, personal meaning, and self-expression. Our souls are either at home with the Lord or at home in the world, spiritually distant from the Lord. It’s true that “Home is where the heart is.” Where is your heart? What kind of home does your soul desire for the coming year? How will you build a life of dependence upon God where you can flourish confidently?
(1) Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Job 8:13-15, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-concise/job/8.htmlise/
(2) John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Job 8:13-15https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-8.html