I wouldn’t mess with a leviathan. Would you? It would probably take my arm clean off if I tried. And not because it is evil, or part of a “broken” world, but simply because it is a wild and magnificent and dangerous animal.
Here’s the kicker, God is super proud of this beast. Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless. (41:33) He created it just like he created you and me.
We are always searching for reasons, but God seems to be saying, in part, there isn’t always a personal reason for suffering. Sometimes we run into something and it takes our arm clean off. He seems to be saying, in part, that his good, magnificent, created world wasn’t designed to cushion us when we fall; parts of it has sharp edges that requires wisdom and caution in its navigation. (It’s why we wear seatbelts, wash our hands, or avoid sticking our heads in lion’s mouths.)
While that isn’t all that comforting, it does reinforce one simple principle:
Live wisely. And be in awe of God’s good and magnificent and sometimes dangerous world.
Job is learning about the unlimited power and possibilities of God. Something he previously knew and understood. Yet, God has confronted him with these truths. Job’s response shows the growth and tenderness of his heart and faith. Job responds in awe with worship, confession, and repentance. They all go together in a beautiful and humble response. When we learn and sense God’s greatness our reaction will indicate the condition of our hearts. Is there worship, confession, and repentance?Is there awe?
What does our reaction indicate about our hearts?What does our reaction indicate about our view and understanding of God?
In 2000, Richard A. Swenson, MD wrote a book, More Than Meets the Eye. EditHe began by asking the question, “how would our lives be changed if we had 10 minutes in heaven with God?” He concluded that we would be profoundly and eternally changed. We cannot even fathom or understand all the ways of God. Swenson proceeded to identify facts of science that demonstrate the amazing power of our Almighty God. We can only describe the facts shared as mind-boggling! Can you imagine how Job felt during his conversation with God?
Every question asked of Job was beyond his comprehension. At every element of interrogation, Job was profoundly impacted and yes, humbled. How could he have ever questioned God and His choices and decisions? Job clearly recognized God’s vast glory and his own abject poverty. How about us? Do we, like Adam and Eve in the garden, sometimes act as if we know better than God? Do we think that if God knew all the circumstances like we do, that He would change His mind or do things differently? Charles Spurgeon said, “There is no attribute more comforting to His children than God’s sovereignty.”
God showed up in a physical way to meet with Job – He came to him in a thunderstorm. We call this kind of meeting a “theophany,” where God shows up in a tangible way to speak to someone. Can you imagine how terrifying that must have been? Job gives the only appropriate response – he humbly repents. After God shows Job His majesty and power, Job essentially says, “I’m sorry. I went on talking about things that I don’t really know about. It won’t happen again.” The appropriate response to meeting with the One Holy God is humility.
We know that God can still speak through a thunderstorm, but we also know that He constantly speaks to us through His Spirit which dwells in us – if we’d only listen. Often, when the Spirit speaks to us and convicts, our response should mimic Job’s – “I’m sorry, Lord. My pride got the best of me, I didn’t know what I was talking about.” Things will go better for us if we’re more willing to say that to God and to each other. The best part is, we know that God answers that repentance with boundless grace and love. Let’s walk humbly with God.
This response says a great deal about Job’s character after the withering litany of questions that the Lord asked him. Job continues the narrative of the bigness of God with the recognition of his sovereign nature. As we walk through trials we may be surprised at the journey, but God never is. We may be frustrated at outcomes that are contrary to our hopes, but God never is. We may be tempted to question God’s purpose, and even wonder about his nearness, but the Lord is never far and will not be moved from his cosmic design for us. Job is humbled, to be sure, but he comes out of this more confident than ever that God is real, big, and to be trusted. Can you say the same?
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Job 40:6-9, 15-19; 41:1-7, 10-11; 42:1-6 in our Spring Re:Verse Series: “JOB – Through the Storm.”
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Job 38:3b
Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it. Job 40:2
Growing up as the child of a high school football coach in the state of Texas, you learned the phrase “armchair quarterback” real quick. Every person thinks that they know what plays should have been called when and which players should have been where. Most people are decent enough to keep these opinions to themselves, but others forget that they aren’t in their armchair and display their opinions openly from the stands to where everyone can hear them. These unqualified and highly opinionated faultfinders have a knack for getting under your skin.
I am gad I am not God. Can you imagine what He hears? The world is full of faultfinders, but unlike at a football game, the Omniscient God knows and hears every thought we have. If we are honest, we have all had moments where we became the armchair quarterback, instructing God on what He should do. That is what makes God so incredible. He is not angered by our unqualified opinions. He wants us to bring these to him, because as we do, He is able to answer back and show us how His plan will always bring home the win!
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
I’m with Scott here, Job reminds us of our deepest need and God’s eagerness to meet it-his nearness. I think it is astounding that we have a God that draws near to us, especially after reading about his management of the universe in chapters 38-39. (God doesn’t have too much on his plate to draw near to us.)
One of the best ways the book of Job illustrates the nearness of God is not in God’s response to Job, but that he responded at all. Simply, God heard Job’s cries, his complaints, and accusations. He was not far off and aloof, but near; he heard Job and spoke to him in his nearness.
So, if you ever wander if God hears you; he does…AND he answers us when we call.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
Did you notice the name used for God? (First time since chapter 2). (You’ll have to look this up- this software doesn’t allow formatting to indicate the text) It’s the name for the covenant God, the personal God. Maybe Job’s biggest need was to be reminded that God was near and still loved him. Look at chapter 23. “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”
And that’s the need God meets first. The author wants us to know, the personal God who cares and shows faithful love is talking to Job.
Whatever the circumstance or crisis, whatever the need, the first thing to remember, understand, and hold onto, is that the Lord is near and with us. He promised!! Psalm 46:1,Matthew 28:20.
God asks Job 69 questions in these three chapters…none of them can be answered by Job. It is a stark reminder that God is infinitely mightier than man. God is all-powerful, all-wise, ever-present, all-knowing, infinite, holy, just, and loving. He is our creator, sustainer, healer, and Savior. Not only was Job left speechless before God, he was re-focused on the glory of God.
We often need to be re-focused upon God. Using the character qualities of God to give praise to Him is an effective way to pray. We are reminded of our standing before the Almighty God. Reciting His character in prayer is like praying Scripture back to Him. Now is a good time to pause and praise. Express your praise by acknowledging God’s character! (Respond in the comment section your one sentence praise to God: “Lord, I praise you for You are…”)