Job has been reminded by one of his friends, Bildad, about the glory of God. Bildad said, “Dominion and fear are with God; He makes peace in His high heaven. Is there any number to His armies? Upon whom does His light not arise?” God is great, and there is no man who is beyond hearing that Word. But then Job did not really need a reminder of that point, particularly at this time. Given all that has transpired, and given who Job is, he has a few of his own insights concerning the greatness and glory of the Lord.
The words of his friends—combined as they are with baseless accusations, a wrong understanding of humanity, and a deficient statement of our standing before God—are not helpful to a man who feels like he has nothing left. They only reinforce the fact that men less righteous than Job have presumed to counsel him as if he were a man who has no wisdom.
It is true that God is greater than our own ability to make some name for ourselves. Job knows this, though he will know it even more fully before his story is over. At the end of the book Job will be an even better teacher than he is here. Even before that day comes we can listen to Job’s words in this chapter and take in much from this great man who speaks of the glory of God.
There is no place that anyone can go to hide from God. Even the dead tremble before Him. He is over the skies as the One who designed the system of planets in which the earth has been placed. He knows what transpires beyond the horizon, past where any man can see.
Not only is He the Creator of light and dark, the waters above and the waters below the firmament, the dry land and all of the vegetation that covers it, the sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, and all kinds of animals; He is also the Maker of mankind. He knows our triumphs and our failures. He has a plan for everything, and His purposes will surely be accomplished.
Beyond all that we can see, God knows even the history and destiny of heaven. Are there powers in realms above? They tremble before Almighty God. Would they defy Him forever? They will not be able to withstand Him for long. If they seem to win a battle, it is only because the Lord of eternal wisdom has determined that such an outcome fits best in His winning of a much larger war.
Is there some wicked creature of the sea that would taunt a man and crush him? Such a one is God’s plaything. He can shatter any foe in a moment.
When you gaze into the night skies, you can see the work of His fingers. If the winds come in a moment and take away all that we have, He can still calm them with just a word. He can restore what a cloud of locusts has consumed.
Is there some serpent who is crafty in his ways, who comes to steal, to kill, to destroy? God can pierce him before he releases his deadly venom. God is powerful to save, even powerful enough to raise the dead.
All of this does not make God weary. He is able to do far more abundantly beyond anything that we could ask or think. We hear only His whispers. What if He were to speak to us in the full weight of His thundering voice? This He has done in Job’s soul. Why has He brought grief to one of His greatest servants? Who can understand that?
If we have a hard time understanding the Lord’s great works of natural power, if we cannot fathom the ways of God with a man like Job, can we understand the Lord’s plan for His own Son, the righteous Jesus? If there ever was a shout of God that was beyond our comprehension, if there ever were an affliction that should take our breath away, it was that which our Lord faced for us. Who can understand what was necessary for the satisfaction of the transgressions of the Lord’s chosen people? Yet Christ faced that thunder of God, and now He lives.
It was not necessary for Bildad to teach Job about God’s glory. There is more than enough mystery to the greatness of God and His inscrutable ways for all of us to consider forever. But Christ has conquered sin and death for us on the cross. This is not so much to be exhaustively understood as it is to be humbly embraced. He has our future in His hands. He can be trusted with our afflictions and our grief. He has won for us our salvation.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our God and King, we need the voice of truth. Please speak to us through the Scriptures today. You are the God of creation. What You accomplish in the skies and the seas are wonders to behold. Even these great things are but a whisper of Your greatness. If we were to see You in all of Your heavenly glory we could not survive for a moment. Help us to hear the Word of Your steadfast love and to worship You even when there is so much that we do not understand.