There are no words that could adequately express the terror of man in the presence of God after sin enters the world through Adam. The level of anyone’s reasonable fear at such an encounter with a holy God is only increased by various complicating factors. For example, Job knows so much about God, but the one to whom much is given, from him much is required. Furthermore, at various moments in this great ordeal, God’s friend Job has seemed to taunt the Almighty. That can’t be safe. Finally, Job’s heart has been prepared to greatly fear the Lord through the Word of the prophetic young ambassador, Elihu. To receive such a message awakens conviction of sin. Beyond any of these reasons there is the overwhelming fact that Elihu has been describing an approaching storm as an example of God’s great power, but now the Lord Himself has come to Job out of the whirlwind, and He has some questions for His suffering servant.
Even though this passage begins with the words, “Then the Lord answered Job,” what follows in chapters 38-41 is an astounding list of questions. If this is an answer to any of Job’s inquiries, it is not immediately apparent. In fact, the only answer that Job seems to get from God is the very best answer for any man of faith who suffers an affliction that he cannot possibly understand. God. God is the only answer.
The way for Job to see that God is the answer is through God questioning Job. Job had wanted to question God, but it is God who will ask the questions. The first one is this: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Job, the most righteous man of his day, a man of great wisdom, a man who has uttered prophetic revelation about the resurrection age to come, has spoken words that are beyond what he could know.
Job was not there when the earth was made. Jesus was there, but Job was not. Jesus was the One through whom all things were made. He is God’s Workman. Job did not take a tape measure to the sphere on which we live and determine that all was according to specifications. Jesus knows the underpinnings of creation, and He is Himself the Cornerstone of the coming resurrection world. He came from heaven. Angels serve Him. They sing His praise, as they have since that first moment when those powerful sons of God shouted for joy. They took up their songs of praise again when Christ was born in Bethlehem. The ultimate Son of God was the One they worshiped.
Job was not there when the limits of the seas were determined and the dry land appeared. He could only hear about the world of waters above and waters below. He could be given a report from God about the days of Noah and that new beginning when life came forth from the ark. Jesus knows all of this as the eternal Son of God. He demonstrated His authority over the waters in the sight of His apostles. Job cannot still the waves or walk on water.
Job cannot make the sun rise in the east and set in the west, but Jesus is the meaning behind the sunrise. One day Job’s Redeemer will come as the ultimate resurrection Daystar. Even now He has made the light of God to shine in our hearts, signaling the coming of that final great age of light for which we have already received the down-payment of the Holy Spirit. Job could not take a dead soul and make it alive. Job has no sovereignty over the living and the dead, but Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth.
Can Job bring forth lightning and thunder, rain and snow? He would not know where to start if God gave him the assignment of bringing about the whirlwind from which the Almighty has emerged in order to speak to His beloved suffering child. Do we see the mercy in all these questions that Job could not possibly answer? The redirection of Job toward God through the message of Elihu is now being completed by the great I AM. When everything seems to be spinning out of control, we need to set our hearts on the only Being who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We might expect these words to refer to a God that we cannot see. But now God has come to us as one who took on human flesh forever in order to redeem humanity, and it is this Jesus who we are told is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is God, and He calls us His friends.
Let us redirect our hearts to the friend who reigns in the heavens, far above every other power. He knows the constellations in the skies, not as a student of astronomy, but as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Consider what it means that the One who died for our sins is holding all things together by the Word of His power. Do we want to have well-being in tragedy? We will not find it in our own righteousness, even if we are as righteous as Job. We will not find it in our own knowledge and wisdom, even if we are as wise as Solomon. We will find a Rock to rest upon only in Jesus, the Wisdom and Power of God. The answer to everything is God in Jesus Christ. Trust Him.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, You speak. We must listen. There is no one like You. You have created all things out of nothing. The sun rises and sets. The seas have come over the land and they have been pushed back to their appointed limits. You know the wonders of snow, hail, ice, rain, heat, light, stars, and every living thing under the heavens. O God of glory, if we have any wisdom, it is a gift from You, for You are the source of all wisdom.