Monday, March 3, 2008

God's Answer to Job

The Lord Questions Job

Job 38

1Then the LORD answered Job from the storm. He said:

2“Who is this that makes my purpose unclear

by saying things that are not true?

3Be strong like a man!

I will ask you questions,

and you must answer me.

4Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

5Who marked off how big it should be?

Surely you know!

Who stretched a ruler across it?

6What were the earth’s foundations set on,

or who put its cornerstone in place

7while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted with joy?

8“Who shut the doors to keep the sea in

when it broke through and was born,

9when I made the clouds like a coat for the sea

and wrapped it in dark clouds,

10when I put limits on the sea

and put its doors and bars in place,

11when I said to the sea, ‘You may come this far, but no farther;

this is where your proud waves must stop’?

12“Have you ever ordered the morning to begin,

or shown the dawn where its place was

13in order to take hold of the earth by its edges

and shake evil people out of it?

14At dawn the earth changes like clay being pressed by a seal;

the hills and valleys stand out like folds in a coat.

15Light is not given to evil people;

their arm is raised to do harm, but it is broken.

16“Have you ever gone to where the sea begins

or walked in the valleys under the sea?

17Have the gates of death been opened to you?

Have you seen the gates of the deep darkness?

18Do you understand how wide the earth is?

Tell me, if you know all these things.

19“What is the path to light’s home,

and where does darkness live?

20Can you take them to their places?

Do you know the way to their homes?

21Surely you know, if you were already born when all this happened!

Have you lived that many years?

22“Have you ever gone into the storehouse of the snow

or seen the storehouses for hail,

23which I save for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

24Where is the place from which light comes?

Where is the place from which the east winds blow over the earth?

25Who cuts a waterway for the heavy rains

and sets a path for the thunderstorm?

26Who waters the land where no one lives,

the desert that has no one in it?

27Who sends rain to satisfy the empty land

so the grass begins to grow?

28Does the rain have a father?

Who is father to the drops of dew?

29Who is the mother of the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost from the sky

30when the water becomes hard as stone,

and even the surface of the ocean is frozen?

31“Can you tie up the stars of the Pleiades

or loosen the ropes of the stars in Orion?

32Can you bring out the stars on time

or lead out the stars of the Bear with its cubs?

33Do you know the laws of the sky

and understand their rule over the earth?

34“Can you shout an order to the clouds

and cover yourself with a flood of water?

35Can you send lightning bolts on their way?

Do they come to you and say, ‘Here we are’?

36Who put wisdom inside the mind

or understanding in the heart?

37Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Who can pour water from the jars of the sky

38when the dust becomes hard

and the clumps of dirt stick together?

39“Do you hunt food for the female lion

to satisfy the hunger of the young lions

40while they lie in their dens

or hide in the bushes waiting to attack?

41Who gives food to the birds

when their young cry out to God

and wander about without food?

The Holy Bible, New Century Version


Job could not require God to give answers. Instead, through rhetorical questions, God revealed his power and perfection to Job. Job and his friends needed to decide how they would respond to God.


Elihu told Job that God was too powerful to communicate with people. God proved Elihu wrong by speaking to Job.


"God, why is this happening to me?"

So God speaks.

Out of the thunder, he speaks. Out of the sky, he speaks. For all of us who would put ditto marks under Job's question and sign our names to it, he speaks....

He speaks out of the storm and into the storm, for that is where Job is. That is where God is best heard.

God's voice thunders in the room. Elihu sits down. Job sits up. And the two will never be the same again.

"Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" [Job 38:2, NIV]' Job doesn't respond.

"Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me" [lob 38:3, NIV]'

"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much" [Job 38:4, TLB].

One question would have been enough for Job, but it isn't enough for God.

"Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying?" God asks. "What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone, as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" [Job 38:5-7, TLB].

Questions rush forth. They pour like sheets of rain out of the clouds. They splatter in the chambers of Job's heart with a wildness and a beauty and a terror that leave every Job who has ever lived drenched and speechless, watching the Master redefine who is who in the universe ....

God's questions aren't intended to teach; they are intended to stun. They aren't intended to enlighten; they are intended to awaken. They aren't intended to stir the mind; they are intended to bend the knees....

Finally Job's feeble hand lifts, and God stops long enough for him to respond. "I am nothing-how could I ever find the answers? I lay my hand upon my mouth in silence. I have said too much already" [Job 40; 4-5, TLB]. ...

"I owe no one anything," God declares in the crescendo of the wind. "Everything under the heaven is mine" [Job 41:11, TLB]'

Job couldn't argue. God owes no one anything. No explanations. No excuses. No help. God has no debt, no outstanding balance, and no favors to return. God owes no man anything.

Which makes the fact that he gave us everything even more astounding? (From In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado)


Consider your understanding of God. Do you acknowledge God as the almighty creator and absolute authority? Can you accept his love and special concern for you? Today, take note of events or insights that remind you of these truths. Tonight, prayerfully reflect on God's greatness.


God and People-Genesis 1:27; Exodus 15; 11; Nehemiah 9; 6; Psalm 103; 13-18; Jeremiah 31:3; Zephaniah 3:17; Romans 3; 23; Philippians 2; 5-11: Hebrews 2:10-12: 1 John 3; 1; Revelation 1:8.

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