I used to do a lot of Sudoku puzzles. I love logic puzzle games, and Sudoku was a phase I went through a few years ago. If you’ve ever tried to solve a Difficult Sudoku puzzle, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.
In the beginning phases of solving a Sudoku puzzle, there is usually a lot of action. There are obvious places for the numbers, and significant amounts of the puzzle can be solved quickly. Then it slows down and becomes a grind. This is the phase in which you pore over the grid, running every single number from 1 through 9, and then each individual square of nine, and then each column and each row. Sometimes you can go through an entire sequence – numbers, squares, columns, rows – and get one number – ONE! Sometimes none at all. So you look harder, you think deeper, you run some more complex analysis. And then you see one. And maybe that’s all, maybe you have to run the whole sequence of analysis all over again just to fine one more. But at some point the dam breaks open. Sometimes it is just one piece of the 81 part puzzle that is the key to solving the rest of the thing. And then you can see it coming together, and there is the glorious rush to the finish – DONE!
Growing in the knowledge of God and His Word can be just like a difficult Sudoku puzzle. Today I was reading the book of Job, and I found the key that unravels the whole book. I’ve read the book of Job at least 10 times in my life, and sometimes it feels like the same old, same old thing, a book about suffering, with a few pictures of Christ thrown in, and a glorious ending regarding God’s greatness.
Go over the numbers again. The grid. The columns and rows.
All of a sudden I saw it. Chapter 32. The theme of the entire book of Job is the righteousness of God. His justification. Not suffering; suffering merely sets the stage for The Theme, God’s Righteousness. My mind is swirling right now with the implications of this. Go through the numbers again. The answers start falling into place faster than I can write them in.
Chapter 1-2: Job reflects God’s righteousness. Chapters 3-31 Job and his friends question and misrepresent God’s righteousness. Chapter 32-37 Elihu defends God’s righteousness. Chapter 38-40 GOD defends God’s righteousness. Chapter 43 Job’s view of God’s righteousness is restored.
How many times have I read Job and not seen this? All of a sudden one essential part falls into place and a glorious light bursts forth on EVERYTHING!
I think in part, this is because I just finished Jonathan Edward’s “The End for Which God Created the World.” I had been laboring in the grid of God’s Passion for His Own Glory, and God’s glory as the goal and theme of EVERYTHING, and seeing that particular part of the puzzle come together in remarkable ways. And all of a sudden, as I kept plodding along, scanning the grid, reading my 6 chapters for the day, I see a connection – THE connection – and more of the puzzle of the truth and the knowledge of the righteousness and the glory of God comes together for me.
So keep scanning the grid. Keep cross checking the numbers, keep running down the columns and rows, and keep going, even when you haven’t found a new answer in a while. When the dam breaks, the glory might overwhelm you.