Everyone’s a Theologian
Today’s reading: Job 1-3; Acts 7:1-19
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:9-10
And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran… Acts 7:1,2
One’s speech will reveal what he believes about God, never more so than in times of extreme stress and pressure. As RC Sproul has said, “Everyone’s a theologian, but not everyone is a good theologian.” In our reading today, we meet two men whose speeches under immense stress showed that they were theologians and they were good ones.
Job was an upright man. In every way, his life was exemplary. He was chosen by God for a special task, although he did not consent to it nor did he know what it was. He suffered every imaginable loss: his wealth, his children, and his health. Even his wife urged him to “curse God and die.” But he would not. He clung to his faith that God had given him good things and it was only right to accept “evil” from Him. Job was not in denial as we see in chapter 3 and throughout the book, and he certainly lamented his situation. He wished he had never been born. But he never sinned with his lips. He knew God and determined to keep trusting Him even when his pain-wracked life made no sense.
Stephen was so powerful in his speaking about Christ that the authorities concocted a plan to eliminate him through a blasphemy trial with false witnesses. He is asked to answer the charges that he has blasphemed Moses and God and stated that Jesus would destroy the temple and change the customs of the Mosaic law. Stephen goes into a brilliant and God-honoring review of the history of Israel. It is clear that he understands how God is the One working in the world and showing grace, mercy, and power to His people. Here he has common ground with the Jews, so they listen. Stephen is no blasphemer. He tells the story of the great Jehovah who guides Israel and wisely and sovereignly works to bring about His purposes.
What does your speech say about your theology? Does it reveal an awareness of the presence and power of God in both your personal life as well as the world around you? Rewind the tape. What would your hearers today say is your view of God? Be a good theologian, and honor God in your speech.