It’s God’s turn to address Job. He is firm in His response and calls Job out for his presumptuousness. But God is also loving and restores Job with His reply.
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me” (verses 38:1-4).
‘Gulp’, yes Sir would be my response. Or better yet, fall on my face and be too terrified to look up. God is not speaking softly to Job’s heart but is speaking to him from a whirlwind; probably a VERY focused tornado which surrounds him and his friends.
Job with all his ‘wisdom’ and self-righteousness knows NOTHING compared to God. His contention to call God to account for His actions in his life comes face to face with the All Mighty. God could have struck him where he sat for his arrogance, but He didn’t. Instead, God outlined just a little bit of His power and history for Job. The Creator of the universe answers His creation with “Where were you…” questions.
One of my favorite lines is “surely you know! (verse 38:5b). Actually, NO, Job knows NOTHING compared to God’s knowledge. From the very foundations of the universe where the stars were put in their places to the feeding of the wild animals God has inhabited the earth with, Job is clueless. And so are we!
I can imagine man looking at this list given by God now and thinking that he knows many of these answers. Man with his theories of how the universe was made is so proud of his ‘great ideas’ that he stand and declare them as truth. Man understands how clouds are formed and can discern SOME of their patterns. He has observed the lifecycle of the animals and can predict approximately when they will give birth. He has tamed many and captured and contained many more, including providing meat for their meals. But he knows NOTHING when compared to God, even now!
There was not a man who stood with God as the universe was set in motion. None stood beside Him as he set the orbits of the stars or even the boundaries of the seas. Man can predict the tides of the oceans but he cannot alter them or stop them. He cannot calm them when the storms rage. He cannot alter the course of the moon to control the tides, even though he has discerned a connection between the two.
Man has harnessed electricity which can give light in the darkness but he cannot manufacture the forces that are required for its very existence. Man cannot alter the elements of nature that God put into place. Let’s see man try and ‘create’ rain and bring clouds from a cloudless sky on his command.
The animals that God names in His response were CREATED by HIM, and not man. God knows the very hour they will give birth. He knows the sources of food and provides that knowledge to them. He directs them in their quest as NO man ever could. He instills in them the knowledge they need from their youth and they do not question it. Even man’s best efforts don’t come near the perfection that God has ordered for them.
“What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him” (Psalm 8:4). This question fills my heart with wonder! Why would God choose to know man? Why would He answer Job, even with this stern answer, instead of smashing him out of existence? We are NOTHING when compared to our Creator!
Yet His heart longs for a relationship with us. He even created in us ‘a hole’ that cannot be filled by anything but Him. He holds the key to our hearts! And He is NOT afraid of our questions.
God was NOT intimidated by Job’s cry for answers. He also did NOT give up until Job received the point of his lesson. He heard every word Job uttered and waited patiently until he was ready to hear the answer. God also put Elihu in Job’s path to bring him to the point where he was ready for the ‘answers’ he had been seeking. Next time we will see how those answers were received.
Father God, THANK YOU for even thinking about me for a moment. In all the vast universe that You created and the myriad of people You created, You take the time to speak even to my heart. I’m NOT a ‘gold standard’ to be held up, like Job was. But even that ‘gold standard’ had some tarnish on it. But I LOVE You with my WHOLE heart and want to be closer to You every day. I want to hear You speak to my heart. To instruct me. Even to correct me when I start to wander. I would say that I would LOVE to hear You in the same way that Job did but I think I might just faint if the wind started talking to me. I’m glad that You have given me the Holy Spirit who can, and does, speak directly to my heart. Still awe inspiring but a LOT less scary than how Job got his answer.