The Lord Answers Job
38 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
“Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?
“Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?
From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
The waters become hard like stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
or loose the cords of Orion?
Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?
“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or given understanding to the mind?
Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?
“Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in their thicket?
Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God for help,
and wander about for lack of food?
Job 38 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Finally… God speaks!
For 35 chapters, God has been absent from the story. Oh yes, Job and his friends spoke of Him, but He did not weigh in on anything, remained silent. Job’s soul ached for something, anything to come from God through that ordeal. There was no comfort or sustaining Job in the middle of the crisis. But now, like the whirlwind of which God appeared in the physical storm that appeared, His words would bring a downpour of grace to the barren land of Job’s soul.
Most interesting both parties wanted God to confirm their own thoughts in regards to Job’s afflictions. The friends wanted to be proven right in their words as did Job in his stance. Neither will be done as God doesn’t answer one of their questions. In time rebukes will come but the questions at hand will go unanswered.
Truly what is most fascinating is right out the gate God speaks of the earths natural phenomenon’s. He speaks of the natural things of this world which all too often we ourselves may take for granted. Beautifully, he recalls the formation of the world, the rise and setting of the sun, the oceans and tides, the snow and rain and so forth. God uses the things of His creation to reveal Job’s ignorance of the earth’s natural order. Thus showing Job’s ignorance of how indeed God works in his own life, of which he knows nothing about.
If Job has an inability to understand the workings of God in physical creation, how can he possibly understand God’s mind and character?
The underlying thought for each of us is much the same. There is no way we can understand the workings of God in our life. Yes, in this day and age we understand many of the earth’s physical attributes and how they work. Yet, just because science has discovered some of these aspects does not mean we ourselves understand the depth of God’s character and justice.
In the situations we face, the hardships we endure and frustration at times we may sense with the silence of God it’s important to remember God is good. His character is righteous and his justice sure. Many times His silence is something we must be patient with as He is acting in ways that are for His good pleasure. The God who formed the earth’s foundation and directs all the natural order of this world also is acutely aware of our needs and struggles. And when it is right in His timing He will show up, He will direct and He will bring His much needed peace to our struggle.
Job 38 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
After all of Job’s questions, and his friends weighing in, God answers their questions with some questions of His own. Do they sound familiar? We see the same pattern in the New Testament when Jesus is challenged by the teachers of the law. God focuses on two points that are consistent with His character.
1) Man cannot understand God’s ways
2) The patient tenderness of God’s grace
God opens with the simple truth that He will back up with further questioning.
“Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?Job 38:2 NASB
Basically, “Who are you, Job, to question me?” The personal God makes a personal appeal to Job. And here is the second part of it – He does it with grace and love. In case Job had forgotten, God highlights His vast power and sovereignty over all things. He uses natural things, that Job can see, feel and touch, in order to correct him. Even though God has every right to destroy Job, He sounds like a teacher who is carefully directing His student back to the truth of the situation.
There is so much grace here; it is unbelievable! The fact that God would even address Job is far beyond anything he deserved. If Job had convinced himself in his pain that God was far away, God answered loud and clear – I am in near to you and in complete control.
Where do you need to let this fact sink in today? As someone who has wrestled with God, where do you need to be reminded of His absolute power and authority over all things. Not only this, but we know by His words that He loves us and is patient in our wrestling. It is a truth we will probably never fully understand.