This morning in my devotional reading, I read through Job 38-40. I have been moving through the book of Job over the last month, but this morning’s passage really struck a chord with me.
Job has been through an immense period of suffering. He has endured the pain of loss as well as physical suffering. As is natural to most of us, Job questioned God. Job felt alienated and disappointed at what had become of his righteous life. His friends have jumped on this bandwagon, but have not questioned God, but rather Job. They have blamed Job for all of his troubles and accused him of having sin in his life.
After their final discourse, God now speaks up and questions Job. God is a God that can handle our questions and doubts. He does not strike us dead when we do not understand, nor does he punish us for asking questions. There is, however, something to remember. If you question God, be ready for Him to give you an answer. It might not be the answer to your question, but He will give an answer like He did Job.
As I read God’s response to Job, I was instantly humbled by the power of God. Not only the power of God, but in the exactness of God’s sovereignty and involvement in this universe. Here is parts of Job 38-40:
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 "Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone-
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?
8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
19 "What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!
22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no man lives,
a desert with no one in it,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?
31 "Can you bind the beautiful [c] Pleiades?
Can you loose the cords of Orion?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s [f] dominion over the earth?
34 "Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?
39 "Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?
1 "Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
2 Do you count the months till they bear?
Do you know the time they give birth?
3 They crouch down and bring forth their young;
their labor pains are ended.
4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
they leave and do not return.
26 "Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
and spread his wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
and build his nest on high?
28 He dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
a rocky crag is his stronghold.
29 From there he seeks out his food;
his eyes detect it from afar.
30 His young ones feast on blood,
and where the slain are, there is he."
1 The LORD said to Job:
2 "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!"
3 Then Job answered the LORD :
4 "I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?”