June 12, 2007
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- Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
- Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
- Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
- Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
- Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
- Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
- When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
- Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
- When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
- And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
- And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
- Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
- That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
- It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
- And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
- Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
- Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
- Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
- Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
- That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
- Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
- Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
- Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
- By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
- Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
- To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
- To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
- Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
- Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
- The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
- Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
- Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
- Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
- Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
- Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?
- Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
- Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
- When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
- Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
- When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
- Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
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- Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
- Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?
- They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.
- Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.
- Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?
- Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.
- He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
- The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
- Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
- Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
- Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
- Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
- Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
- Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
- And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
- She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear;
- Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
- What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
- Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
- Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.
- He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.
- He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.
- The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.
- He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
- He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
- Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?
- Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
- She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
- From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
- Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.
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Thought for the day:
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Throughout this entire book Job has been calling for an audience with God. He wants to question the Lord as to why He has allowed these troubles to befall him, and to plead His case before the Almighty. At the conclusion of Elihu's speech, and before Job has an opportunity to respond, God Himself comes on the scene and begins to deal directly with Job. The basic question worded to Job, and by extension to his companions and, I believe, to us as well, is this: Who do you think you are?
Notice how the Lord approaches Job. He makes it clear that Job does not understand what he is talking about, and is in fact placing God's plans and procedures in darkness because of his ignorance (38:2). I wonder how often I am guilty of that? How many times have I challenged God rather than accepted His decisions? How often do I muddy the waters for both myself and those around me through my foolish statements concerning my incorrect perception of God's purpose? I need to learn to accept what God is doing, trust His program, and learn through the trial how to be stronger and more conformed to the image of Christ.
Job, though he had not done anything to merit God's punishment at the beginning of the book, certainly had done his share of complaining about God's injustice during his debates with his friends. He wanted God to listen to his questions and give him some answers. How similar this attitude is to ours! We place ourselves in the position of authority, and somehow feel that God is obligated to respond to our questions, and in addition, respond with answers that we find acceptable. God, however, sees otherwise. In these closing chapters He asks Job over seventy questions, none of which Job, with his finite mind, could answer. Job wanted to be the accuser of God for His injustices, and instead God becomes the Accuser of Job for his ignorance and complaints.
Why does the Lord ask Job all these questions? The answers are obvious, both to Jehovah and to Job, so what is the point? The point is that God wants to make sure that Job completely understands in no uncertain terms that God is in control and Job is not. He wants Job to realize that he can not begin to comprehend the infinite wisdom of God, so he has no right to challenge Him. Look at just a few of the questions. In Job 38:4-6 the Lord challenges Job to explain exactly where he was when the Lord created the universe. He asks Job to explain what the earth is fastened to as it hangs in space, and just exactly how the whole thing was put together in the first place. He asks Job to explain how the seas work, and why the sun rises and sets as it does, and if he can understand storms, or the seasons, or the stars in the heavens. He asks Job is he understands how the animal kingdom functions, from reproducing to raising young to having the proper physical tools to survive in the wild. Of course, Job has no answer.
The next time you are tempted to question the wisdom of God, take a look out the window first. Then look in a mirror. Having viewed the universe that God created, and having viewed yourself as His creation, I don't think it would make any sense to doubt the wisdom and plan of God. We know Who He is, and that's all we need to know.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery