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The Flowing of Elihu's Speech into the LORD's

Job 37:19-Job 38:3

If it wasn't for the first three verses in chapter 38 telling us that the Lord begins speaking, we would think Elihu was continuing his speech to Job, as his conversation flows smoothly into the Lord's. Elihu had been describing his awe concerning God's wondrous works of the heavens and God will continue with the description of the remainder of His creation, the earth and all therein. 

Some commentators mistakenly say that the Lord was describing Elihu in 38:2 when He says, "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" However verses 1 and 3 disprove that as verse one tells us the Lord was speaking to Job and tells us so in verse three, "Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer Me." Furthermore in chapter 40 and 42 we can see proof that these words were directed at Job. A bias against Elihu prevents the acknowledgement that God continues Elihu's speech rather than condemns it. Elihu was on the right track and no greater witness to this fact than the Lord Himself who continues the description of the "excellent power" of creation by the "awesome majesty" of God.

Job will finally get his wish; he will get a response from God. However, it's not the response he has been longing to hear as he wanted to present his case to God that he didn't deserve such punishment and why God has shown injustice to him in giving him such suffering. Instead of God explaining why Job was suffering, God gives Job something better; something that will help Job in his terrible suffering not only in the present time, but all throughout his life. And, thanks be to God, by preserving the book of Job we too have the benefit of His speech in our times of grief and anguish. We have the admonishment from Elihu and God Himself to remember His excellence in power, judgment, and justice.

As we move into the Lord's speech to Job, let's keep Elihu's words in mind:

Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. (37:14)

"Teach us what we should say" - in other words, are we so wise to tell God what we want and should have? (37:19)

Should God be told that we want Him to hear us! (37:20)

We should always be mindful that God:

  • Has awesome majesty
  • We cannot find Him
  • He is excellent in power
  • He is excellent in judgment
  • He is excellent in justice
  • He does not oppress
  • He shows no partiality.

Let us keep these descriptions of our Lord in mind as we hear God's speech to Job in the coming chapters and with all that has happened and all that has been said, up to this point, let us come to a conclusion of what God is trying to teach Job and, in turn, trying to teach us in our sufferings while here on earth.

 

Out of the Whirlwind

Job 38:1 

"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind..."

As we began this study, we saw Job living in the peace and security of an upright life, being confident in a just, righteous God, having received numerous physical blessings of material wealth and a loving family. As a devoted parent, Job would get up in the early morning hours when the earth was still and peaceful, and offer burnt offerings for his children in case they had sinned in their heart. Perhaps he smiled as he pictured his children sitting around the table, sharing their feast with one another and enjoying each other's company. As the day dawned and the animals awakened, with the chirping of the birds, a calm gratitude swept over him as he felt the thrill in his heart of an almighty God who was kind and just.

It was on a day of peace and joy when the news came that would forever change Job's life; a chain of events so destructive that would shatter Job's peaceful security and be replaced with a time of pain, confusion, and despair. In wave upon wave of shocking news, he learned he lost his possessions and the death of his servants. As his mind was still trying to take in such loss, the final messenger came with such devastating news Job must have become numb in shock. His mouth may have dropped in awe and disbelief as his mind tried to take in such unbelievable horror - a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the house where his children, just moments earlier, were joyfully feasting. All were killed.

Days, weeks, possibly months followed of relentless grief and agony; haunting memories of those peaceful mornings now replaced with painful, sleepless nights and feverish days sitting on an ash heap, scraping a mass of oozing inflamed sores. Forsaken by family and close friends, he calls for his servant, begging for help, but no help comes. He sits as "miserable comforters" continue to accuse him of bringing all this on himself due to his wickedness even surmising that God has had mercy and had inflicted Job with less calamaties than he deserved.

Job's heart, which once trusted in a protective, just God is now confused, longing for answers to why God has "wronged him." As Job goes into a tirade of his suffering and loss, he begins to justify himself, as he accuses God of injustice. After a long speech, this man, whose life became a whirlwind of grief, pain, and confusion now sits in silence.

After patiently waiting for his elders to speak, Elihu now proceeds to discipline Job and his repehensible portrayal of God as unjust. Job is quiet as Elihu speaks as his words are different from the three friends. While he recognizes his discipline, the antagonistic, maligning attitude of the friends is missing and he finds Elihu speaking with understanding and wisdom.

As Job thinks upon Elihu's words he may have felt the wind begin to build from the approaching storm. (The Bible doesn't say, but there may have been the presence of a storm as Elihu concentrated his description of the power of God in the mighty forces of the wind, rain, and snow.) The storm of trials that had attacked Job's life had been a whirlwind of intense, agonizing, unrelenting ordeals that had been a crescendo of such magnitude that it threatened to overtake the spirit of Job. Something had to break through Job's distress of mind and body. Something had to open Job's mind and cause him to see as clear as the early morning hours of days gone by when he trusted in his Father's care and mercy. It took a whirlwind, and in that great wind, came the voice of God: "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me."

As Satan failed to tempt Job to turn away from God by using a great wind to destroy his children, God, the Creator of all, uses a whirlwind to direct Job's attention back to Him. In loving mercy, God disciplines Job by demanding his attention, requiring him to prepare himself like a man and answer His questions. Over seventy questions will be asked. Seventy times Job will fail in his attempt to justify himself as he charged God with injustice. Over seventy times the Creator will prove to Job that he needed to take himself out of the picture and bow in humble submission and trust before an all-wise, all-knowing, and all-powerful God. 

 This song of Asaph reminds me of Job...

I cried out to God with my voice-- To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah
You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search.
Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah
And I said, "This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High."
I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God?
You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid;
The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about.
The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known.
You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
(Psa 77:1-20)

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You Shall Answer Me

(Job 38:1-3) 

Job has been suffering greatly; on-going, unrelenting pain wears on the spirit and it would be normal for Job to question why an abundance of trials have overtaken him. He judged God as unjust as he felt like he did not deserve such great punishment and he longed to defend himself. Job desired to stand before God and explain his case and he yearned to hear God's explanation.

  • See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated. Who is he who will contend with me? If now I hold my tongue, I perish. "Only two things do not do to me, Then I will not hide myself from You: Withdraw Your hand far from me, And let not the dread of You make me afraid. Then call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, then You respond to me. How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. (Job 13:18-23)
  • Know then that God has wronged me, And has surrounded me with His net. "If I cry out concerning wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice. (Job 19:6-7)
  • Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him, And fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which He would answer me, And understand what He would say to me. (Job 23:3-5)
  • But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10) 

Job got his wish; he did, indeed, stand before God. However, he didn't receive the response he expected and wished for. Rather than stand proudly before the Judge demanding an explanation and defending himself, he must have been terrified to hear the voice of God come out of a fierce wind - "Who is this who darkens counsel with words without knowledge?" Certainly not what Job expected.

The Almighty, holy, powerful, and righteous Creator was not going to explain Himself to a man who demanded answers from Him. Rather than setting up a court scenario to hear Job's side of the story and for Job to defend himself, God begins to ask Job questions seemingly unrelated to his suffering. It wasn't necessary for Job to explain himself as God knew Job's heart and Job was ignorant that Satan was behind his suffering. To us, it seems important for God to explain this to Job, but a simple explanation is not what Job needed. Job needed to trust in God's wisdom and power, without question, as this would not be the last time Satan would tempt Job. Out of God's love for mankind, He tells all of us to remember His wisdom far exceeds ours. His power and knowledge are everlasting and He knows all, sees all, and is the giver of life to all His creation.

Job didn't need a courtroom, he needed hope. Out of mercy and love, God provided comfort and strength by focusing Job's mind back to what he needed most - a wise, omnipotent God who created the world in wisdom and is in continual care of His creation.

Now, Job, "Gird up your loins like a man." Be brave as you were when you were so firmly declaring the injustice of God. See if you can remain confident in your judgments and conclusions, as you stand "face to face" with the Creator. 

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. (1Pe 5:6-9)

 


 
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.' "Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it. "Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'? (Isa 45:6-9)

Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?" Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
(Isa 29:15-16)

"To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isa 40:25-31) 

I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.' "Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it. "Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'? (Isa 45:5-9)

 

How Great Is Our God

by Kent Heaton

 

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales” (Isaiah 40:12)? The achievements of man is compelling when we stand before the height of the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, UAE reaching 2,716 feet 6 inches; or the Three Gorges Dam (China) displacing 39,300,000 cubic meters; and touching the pyramids of Egypt that have stood for nearly 5,000 years. The Guinness Book of World Records attest to all the similar feats of man to create the fastest, largest, most powerful inventions of man.

The prophet Isaiah writes, “To whom then will you liken God” (Isaiah 40:18)? What comparison can be made to the one who measures the waters of the world in the hallow of His hand? It is estimated there are 332,500,000 cubic miles of water on the face of the earth covering 70% of the earth. Including all bodies of water there is an estimated 1.3-1.5 billion cubic kilometers of water. The hallow of the hand is only a part of the hand and yet the Lord God holds 332,500,000 cubic miles in the hallow of His hand. Just imagine how big the rest of Him would be.

Not only does our Creator hold all the waters of this world in the hallow of His hand He measures the universe “with a span.” A span is generally the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the smallest finger (roughly nine inches). Contained within that “nine inches” the Lord God Almighty holds the known universe that is estimated to be 93 billion light years across. The circumference of the earth is only 24,901 miles and the distance of the earth to the moon is an average of 384,403 miles. The sun is 93 million miles away and we have not even started to go where no man has gone before. It is estimated there are billions of galaxies and yet the Lord holds all of these within the span of His hand. Just imagine how big the rest of Him would be.

How much dust is in the world? Half of it can be found under any child’s bed I suspect. But consider the dust that fills the earth from the four corners and our God calculates this volume in a measure. He could tell us (if He wanted) exactly how much dust is present on the Earth and Moon and Mars and in the universe. First of all that takes a really big measuring container. Second, to know the exact amount of dust in the world is awesome - “For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth” (Psalms 47:2). Third (and most amazing) He knows where all the dust is. How great is our God.

It has been suggested the volume of Mount Everest is 2417 cubic kilometers and if you multiply that by how many mountains there are; throw in the volume of the hills – all of these numbers are unknown to man; you would not be close to the exact number Jehovah God would be able to tell in a split second of the weight of the mountains and hills of earth. How much do the Rocky’s weigh or the Alps or the impressive Andes or the Himalayas? Only God knows but the fact is – God knows. And He has a scale big enough to weigh the mountains and the power to put the mountains and the hills on the scale. What an awesome God we serve.

“To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? … Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless” (Isaiah 40:18, 21-23). Our God is so big he sits “above the circle of the earth.” We are like grasshoppers to Him. To God the heavens are nothing more than a curtain and the heavens a tent. So expansive and yet so insignificant to the majesty of God.

Great men have ruled in the affairs of men and tyrants have stricken our world with wars. The nation of Egypt once so proud and powerful is held in check as an impoverished nation by the decree of the one who sits above the circle of the earth (Ezekiel 29:9-15). King Nebuchadnezzar learned first-hand who rules in the kingdoms of men. “The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’ While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses’" (Daniel 4:30-32).

Daniel told King Belshazzar that God held his “breath in His hand and owns all your ways” (Daniel 5:23). No king, prince, despot, tyrant, president or any man can stand before the mighty God. The Lord still works in the affairs of men and while there can be fear over the tyranny of the historical empire of Rome, destruction of the Third Reich or oppression of the Empire of Japan; and the present fear of terrorist and world war – GOD STILL RULES! All the plans of men will come to naught. Paul told the Athenians that “God is Lord of heaven and earth” and has determined the preappointed times and boundaries of man’s habitation. He rules! Our God is an Awesome God. But it’s not over.

On the fourth day of creation God created the lights in the firmament. Moses writes, “Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also” (Genesis 1:16). Gazing into the night sky overwhelms the senses with the grandeur and majesty of a star speckled sky filled with millions of lights. The amazing God we serve is a God who created all the stars (billions upon billions) and in His great power and wisdom has a name for each one of them. Isaiah declares, “Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing” (Isaiah 40:26). No power of man can match this knowledge. There are no words to describe the indescribable wonder of a powerful God who possesses such knowledge. And yet He is our God.

On this tiny blue planet in the middle of a vast universe of billions of heavenly beings our Great and Awesome God loves us and cares for us. First there is fear in knowing such an awesome God because man is only a “drop in the bucket” (Isaiah 40:15) compared to Him. Secondly we find comfort in this knowledge because He is so great what can He not do for me? “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

Our God is such a great God. He gave us His Son. His Son gave us His life. Our God offers the hope of eternal life for the grasshoppers before Him. He loves me; even me. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)? My God is an Awesome God.

 

God's Response to Job (Part 1)

Job 38-39

 

Job has been begging for an opportunity to present his case of innocence before God and he desires answers from God as to why He had caused this great suffering to come upon him. He has accused God of injustice. "He has cast me into the mire, And I have become like dust and ashes. "I cry out to You, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You regard me. But You have become cruel to me; With the strength of Your hand You oppose me. You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it; You spoil my success. For I know that You will bring me to death, And to the house appointed for all living." (Job 30:19-23)

"Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me, That my Prosecutor had written a book!" (Job 31:35)

Homer Hailey writes in his Commentary on Job (chapter 38 pg 331):

"He [Job] had requested that God call and he would answer, or that he speak and God would answer. Instead of responding to either request, Jehovah met him in His world, inanimate and animate, a world of beauty and order, of mystery and wonder, upon which is the stamp of wisdom, purpose, and power." - Homer Hailey

After finishing reading God's response in chapters 38-41 we will discuss why God chose to answer Job in this way rather than explain the background of Job's suffering. For now, let's put ourselves in Job place and read the questions as if God is speaking to us. It will be a good exercise for us so that in the future when we are in great distress and question God, we can ask ourselves these questions.

Read chapters 38-39 and replace the word "you" with "I" such as: 

Where was I when God laid the foundations of the earth?

  • Explain the very core of the earth and the first steps of creation.
  • Explain how  such an immeasurable amount of water could be gathered together and formed into oceans, seas, and rivers without overflowing into the land. Explain how one can control such force.
  • Where is light? Where is darkness? How does the day dawn every day without fail?

Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great?" (Job 38:21)

  • Explain snow and hail. Use it in battle, if I can. 
  • Explain how light is distributed. 
  • Explain the scattering of wind.
  • Explain the channeling of water.
  • Explain the path of a thunderbolt and rain that nourishes the earth, even where no man lives.
  • Explain ice and frost. 
  • Explain the stars and arrange them in the heavens and guide them in their path. 
  • Command the clouds to rain. Send the lightening out.  
  • Send out water for the earth and its creation. Provide water and food for all the birds and animals in the entire earth.

"Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?" Job 38:36

Did I create and command the animals? Look at the diversity of the animal kingdom. See the wonder of birth. Examine how well the animals fit their environment. Wonder at the mighty strength of beast and even those that God has deprived of wisdom. Be in awe of the eagle as it mounts up by God's command.

(I will continue with God's response in the next issue)  

 

 

God's Response to Job (Part 2)

Job 40-41

Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?

In wisdom, Job said it was impossible to contend with God and those who do, can not prosper: "Truly I know it is so, But how can a man be righteous before God? If one wished to contend with Him, He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered? (Job 9:1-4)

However, as God continues to discipline Job,  the point was made that Job, himself, was contending with the Almighty and trying to reprove Him by charging Him with injustice. How often do righteous children of God see the vanity in other people's lives but forget to examine themselves to see if they too are involved in the same foolishness? "Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it....Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me."

Job now sees the folly within himself and confesses, "Behold, I am vile;, what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further." Job admits about himself what he stated earlier in the book, " If one wished to contend with Him, He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand." Job knew his wisdom failed miserably as the Lord revealed His power and wisdom in His creation.

However, God continues in his discipline of Job even after Job admitted to being "vile" and lacking the wisdom to respond to God. Evidently, there was more Job needed to learn about himself.

Jehovah continues: "Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: 'Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?" Job, are you the one with wisdom? Are you just? Are you powerful?

"Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together, Bind their faces in hidden darkness. Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you." (Job 40:10-14)

Job, if you are so just, so wise, so majestic, then release your power on the wicked who are proud and humble them. Look at the behmoth and the Leviathan, these mighty animals of earth and ocean - tame them! If you can't control these mighty animals that the Lord created, do you believe you have the wisdom and justice to bring down the proud of heart? If you can't tame man nor beast what right do you have to charge God with apathy and injustice?

Job's confession of a lack of ability to respond to Jehovah wasn't good enough. God, in His closing speech brought out the fiercest animals of His creation to convince Job that he was out of line when he questioned God's wisdom and justice. Not only was Job out of line, he had sinned

 

 
Further thoughts from Pulpit Commentary:

 

"Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said: "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it...Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: "Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? (Job 40:1-2; 7-8)

 Jehovah means by this to say that Job's conduct, in maintaining as he had done his own righteousness, really involved two tremendous assumptions.

1. That he (Job) could govern the world better (i.e. more justly) than God. Hence Jehovah inquires if Job proposed to disannul the Divine judgment, and take upon himself the task of administering mundane affairs. Even good men do not always understand how much is involved in the statements they rashly utter. Nor can any interpreter so clearly tell them as God.

2. That he (Job) was a more righteous being than his Maker. No doubt Job would have shrunk from any such deification of himself, had be clearly foreseen how much his utterances meant. Job's example should teach saints to keep the door of their lips. That Jehovah still urged these interrogations on his servant was a proof that the work of reducing him to complete subjection was not yet accomplished.  -Pulpit Commentary

Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. (Job 40:1-14)

A PROPOSAL MADE. That Job should for once take God's place, and show what he could do in the way of governing the world. "Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?" On the supposition that Job is competent to exchange places with the Supreme, he is invited:

1. To array himself in the royal robes of Deity. "Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty." Whatever glory man possesses is not inherent, but derived, and is really as no glory by the reason of the glory that excelleth, viz. the glory of the supreme Creator. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork." God "covereth himself with light as with a garment," and is "clothed with honour and with majesty."

2. To display the righteous wrath of Deity. "Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath;" literally, "Let the overflowings of thy wrath pour themselves forth." A characteristic attribute of Deity to manifest holy indigtation against evildoers (Isaiah 2:10-21), it is here suggested to Job for imitation. This, however, does not warrant good men to usurp the place and function of him who says, "Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord." God's people may pour forth their righteous indignation against iniquity; upon the evil-doer they are only warranted to pour forth pity.

3. To exercise the judicial functions of Deity. "Behold every one that is proud, and abase him;" or, "Behold all pride and abase it; behold all pride and bring it low; and tread," or cast down, "the wicked in their place." -Pulpit Commentary

 


 

 

 

"Now My Eye Sees You"

(Job 42)

The great chapter on faith found in Hebrews 11 doesn't begin with the examples of the faith of our spiritual ancestors, instead, it begins with the faith of all believers: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." (vs.3) This wonderful chapter of "witnesses" (Heb. 12:1) begins with all believers from Adam to those of us at the present time, who believe by faith, that God created the universe. All believers know the worlds did not come into being due to chance because our faith prompts us to believe God when He tells us He created all (Romans 10:17).
 
Job had faith that God was the Creator so there was no need for that to be established. Instead, God uses His creation to help Job's faith grow as He substantiates His wisdom and justice by directing Job's attention to the different aspects of His creation and the power and wisdom not only in the ability to create the heavens and the earth, but to sustain them. It moved Job to a greater knowledge of Jehovah's character and it instilled humility in his heart.
 
God redirected Job's thoughts from self-pity and the feeling of injustice to focus outward toward the heavens, the earth, and all created beings. God used His creation to help Job come to a fuller understanding of His character and to refocus Job's mindset that had become stagnant with self.
 
After Elihu's and Jehovah's great discourse on the creation from the heavens to the great behemoth and leviathan, Job says...."I know that You can do everything...No purpose of Yours can be withheld from You."

After Job's pride was brought down by Elihu's and Jehovah's discipline of Job's misjudgement of God, he states: "I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."

After his consideration of creation, Job comes to a new awareness of God he had not seen previously: "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You."  

After all those speeches that go on and on and on throughout Job, we are not left with some difficult conclusion that takes an expert in theology to explain, but rather it ends with  a profound lesson that is concealed in simplicity.

The simple conclusion is that no God who could create and control such wonders in the heavens and earth would be unjust, unwise, and uncaring. As far apart as darkness and light are, so is creation and man's false idea of God's inadequacies in justice, foresight, and care.  It is impossible for the two to go together.
Job's accusations that God is unknowing, unjust and uncaring and that he knew better than God what his needs were, are now impossible for him to believe. He has awakened from his foolishness and now hates the ignorance and pride he sees in himself: "Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes." 

Are we moved by the realization of how awesome the creation is? Does it take our mind off self as look up to the heavens and see the majesty, the wisdom, and the knowledge of God, the Creator? Do we come to a better understanding of God's character by observing the world around us? Are we humbled in the realization we need our God, our Creator and Savior in our lives and without Him, we are nothing? This realization will come only if we take the time to stop and meditate on the world around us. It's time to look out and to look up and see our God more clearly.