Summary: A study into Job chapter thirty eight.

Job 38 could be outlined –

Job is Confronted by God (Job 38:1-3)

God Questions Job (Job 38:4-11)

Light and Darkness (Job 38:12-24)

God’s Mighty Works (Job 38:25-41)

God finally speaks.

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: 2 "Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? 3 Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Job 38:1-3 (NKJV)


Notice that God does not speak to Elihu or to any of the other of Job’s “friends – but He speaks to Job directly. God says, “Who is this that has come into my courtroom – and speaks words without knowing all the facts?” The Contemporary English Version renders this version:

“Why do you talk so much when you know so little?” Job 38:2 (CEV)

In this case God speaks to Job out of the “whirlwind”. Remember God does not always speak that way. He chooses how and when He will speak – that is not our choice. God is not subject to our whims or our wills.

"Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by." A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12 (MSG)

God now gives Job three requirements:

1. Prepare yourself like a man.

2. I will question you.

3. You will answer Me.

4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb; 9 When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band; 10 When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors; 11 When I said, ’This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!’ Job 38:4-11 (NKJV)


The heading of this section is misleading. In this entire chapter and the next God questions Job. God is clearly showing Job his place in the big scheme of things. Job is not in charge of the universe – neither are we. None of us have set the sun – the stars – or the moon in its place. We do not have that power. Yet we want life to be centered around our needs and our wishes. Life does not always follow our desires. Because of this fact here is a great principle for all of us to remember:

Life is the testing ground of our faith.

This is the main principle of the book of Job. Will Job remain faithful – even when nothing in this world is going the way he wants it to go? Satan in chapter two had told God that Job would not remain faithful. God said, “Put him to the test.”

Much of what is said in this chapter is what Elihu has already said in the previous chapter. Elihu could see the mighty power of God in the works of nature.

Here are the questions that God asks Job in this section:

1. Job were you around when I laid the foundations of the earth?

2. Job did you determine the depth and breath of the foundation?

3. Job did you stretch the measuring tape across the foundation?

4. Job do you know what the foundation was attached to?

5. Job do you know who it was that laid the corner stone?

6. Job who was it that determined how much water the oceans would hold?

God tells Job several times in this section – who has done these things. (verse four) “I laid the foundations of the earth.” (verse nine) “I made the clouds.” (verse ten) “I fixed My limit.”

In verses eight through eleven God is talking about the oceans. He shut the doors so that only so much water was allowed in. He set the limit for it. He even spoke and said, “You can come this far and no further.”

God is all powerful and all mighty. He sets limits. Satan was only allowed to go so far in the testing of Job. God set the limits. I praise God that He is all powerful and all mighty and that He sets limits. Remember:

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