40 And the LORD said to Job:
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
Job Promises Silence
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.”
The Lord Challenges Job
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?
Have you an arm like God,
and can you thunder with a voice like his?
“Adorn yourself with majesty and dignity;
clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
and look on everyone who is proud and abase him.
Look on everyone who is proud and bring him low
and tread down the wicked where they stand.
Hide them all in the dust together;
bind their faces in the world below.
Then will I also acknowledge to you
that your own right hand can save you.
which I made as I made you;
he eats grass like an ox.
Behold, his strength in his loins,
and his power in the muscles of his belly.
He makes his tail stiff like a cedar;
the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
His bones are tubes of bronze,
his limbs like bars of iron.
“He is the first of the works of God;
let him who made him bring near his sword!
For the mountains yield food for him
where all the wild beasts play.
Under the lotus plants he lies,
in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh.
For his shade the lotus trees cover him;
the willows of the brook surround him.
Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened;
he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
Can one take him by his eyes,
or pierce his nose with a snare?
Job 40 Commentary
by Hank Workman
We’ve probably all done it. Things didn’t go well. We didn’t get our way. We lost the promotion. The sickness led to death. Finances turned downward. Unexpected events took place leaving us marginalized. How did you contend with God over these?
We complain to God a lot, don’t we. When any of the above takes place our words can turn quite quickly against Him. Our words, our prayers even sometimes spew anger. We make the God of the universe our punching bag as our life or some event in it has not gone the way we perceived it would go.
There are those who come to mind from just these questions. I’ve witnessed people who lost another to death, lost their job, or found themselves on the brink of devastation and in the end blamed God for everything. Those who had once walked alongside of Him now had their finger pointed and ultimately back turned. I can’t tell you what sadness it brings just revisiting these thoughts of some who have walked away.
Job has had incredible hardships and trials. Terrible does not even sum it up. And now God gives him a chance to speak. In the presence of God, in light of the tremendous mysteries God has laid out even before him, Job goes silent. Remarkably, God showed up and gave Him an opportunity to plead his innocence yet in His presence he is mute.
God has shown Job that his mind and thoughts are limited compared to the greatness of who He is. Consequently, the ways of God are far beyond our understanding, and His actions are not based on our own. God does what He knows best regardless of what we consider fair even. That said, what we need to be reminded of – God came to Job. He came to him in all his hurt and pain demonstrating He most certainly loves him.
The reality is whatever hardship we are enduring or the many questions we may have about His ways, the love of God still is there. Although we plead for relief, for answers our patience in whatever we are enduring must be met with God’s timing to reveal His greater purposes for us through it all. Oh, these answers may not come at the moment we expect them as they may be revealed through the course of our life – there’s one thing we must cling to. God’s love is real. He is actively involved in our life even through the pain.
Job 40 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Consider Job’s humility in this chapter. Consider that he takes up none of the words with God that he had planned. The entire book culminates to this point; Job is given permission to speak his case to the God of the universe… and… he doesn’t. In fact, he admits he’s said too much. In the presence of God, his wrestling and questioning turned to fear and trembling. Like Jacob, he wrestled with God and was blessed.
Blessed? How was Job blessed?
At this moment, Job’s mindset completely changed. He saw more of God than ever before. He knew God more intimately than ever before. He was transformed by the renewing of his mind. Job’s trust grew in this moment before the Lord. He was willing to say, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done.” However, this can only take place through the presence of God. Anyone left to themselves will rely on their own human wisdom to make sense of their situations.
Job’s suffering has produced something in him that never would have happened had he not suffered. We need to let that truth sink in.
What does this mean for us today? Well, many of us immediately blame God for our circumstances and trials. We question and wonder. We think, “I wouldn’t do it that way.” Yes, some of this is just part of the process. We are human. However, if we stay in this place, we have subscribed to Satan’s theology, and we must be careful to take these thoughts captive. The enemy thought he knew more than God and could do better than God. Look at how that worked out for him.
Again, I’m not saying we won’t wrestle. Job did and God has graciously corrected him, but it takes humility and repentance to see things clearly. I am reminded of a beautiful passage from Paul in Romans 8.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35-39 NASB
Nothing separates us from the love of God, for we become conquerors through this love. Let that be the hope in your present circumstance.