When bad things happen, and we accuse God of being unjust, are we ready for His answer? Job had suffered terribly and demanded an audience with God to question His fairness. God now begins to challenge Job in Job 38. Let’s listen in.
Words without Knowledge
Job 38:2 “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?” Words without knowledge could also describe many modern know-it-alls. What do we humans really know of the universe? Politicians, biologists, economists, sometimes even church leaders espouse arrogant, puffed-up theories as fact, when we really know so little.
Job 38:3 The Lord speaks to us through Job, “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” Gird up your loins? We might say, tighten your belt, get ready! Dare WE enter a debate with God? We are seriously outgunned.
Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding”? The earth’s continental crust is 5-25 miles (8-40 kilometers) thick, and the oceanic crust is 3-5 miles (5-8 kilometers) thick. The earth’s crust floats on a mantle of molten rock.
Job 38:5 “Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?” Our planet is just the right distance from the sun for life to exist. It is just the right mass to retain an atmosphere with the perfect percentage of oxygen to sustain life.
Job 38:6-7 “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?” Job understood God, “hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). It orbits one of 200-400 billion stars in our Galaxy.
Job 38:8 “Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb”? 71% of earth’s surface is ocean. The world’s highest mountain is Mauna Kea, Hawaii, over 33,000 feet (10,000 m) above the ocean floor, a mile higher than Mt Everest.
Job 38:9-10 “When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors.” Oceans control the weather, as they bring rain and wind, and moderate the world’s temperature. Oceans are a major source of food.
Job 38:12- “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place…”? God created earth to rotate, giving us day and night, seasons and beneficial wind patterns. The speed of rotation gives temperature differences between day and night that make life possible.
Job 38:16- “Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep…” The average ocean depth is over 12,000 feet (3,700 m). The deepest point is over 36,000 feet (11,000 m) in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific.
Job 38:31- “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion…” Pleiades (Greek: plee-AH-daiss), the seven sisters, found on a Subaru. The Pleiades are a star cluster bound together in Taurus, and are relatively close to earth. Which of us chained these stars together?
Next time we see the sunrise, let’s remember who commands the morning. Next time we follow Orion’s belt to the Pleiades, remember who binds that star cluster together. When God sometimes allows bad things to happen, remember that the One who made earth, sea and stars knows what He’s doing. Life on earth involves suffering and death, but God’s plan is resurrection and salvation. The path to life eternal and salvation from sin sometimes takes us through the valley of the shadow of death. Let’s never forget that God is there too with us every step of the way, and at the other end is life and joy forever more.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation