JOB 38 and 39
Finally, in the last five chapters of Job, God himself takes centre stage! He ‘appears’ concealed within a vast storm cloud and his voice probably carries more fear and awe than all that thunder and lightning! The concealment of God’s full glory and presence within the cloud was perhaps for two reasons: to avoid destroying Job with the full strength of a direct view of the Almighty, and also to provide a dramatic illustration of his criticism of Job: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?”.
God does not even mention Job’s sufferings, nor the heated debates about God’s justice; He simply demonstrates by a stream of rhetorical questions that, in reality, Job and his friends “know nothing”! Was Job around when God created the Earth, the stars, and the universe? Was it Job that accomplished all the mighty acts of creation – or perhaps it was God! Who has the knowledge and the wisdom and the power – and who has virtually nothing by comparison?
It is the Lord who is the architect and builder of all Creation (don’t call it ‘Nature’, that is to give credit to a false god – a Greek idol). It is God who still holds the universe together and cares for his Earth, its creatures and the stars and galaxies, every second of the day. (Look up Colossians 1:16-17 and Hebrews 1:2-3. If the Lord chose to withdraw his sustaining word over all creation, then the universe would instantly disappear, ceasing to exist!) There is a delicious sense that, not only is God the all-wise Lord over his creation, but that he is completely fascinated and passionate about it; he loves the wild ox, the silly ostrich, the fearsome horse, and the soaring eagle – and most of all he loves mankind, his imagers.
At the beginning of ch.40, God takes a short commercial break from the questions, which gives Job just enough time to mumble an apology for his stupidity and presumption. Refreshed by his thirty second rest, God turns up the volume on the ‘voice’ dial and gives some demonstrations of power and majesty. Job realises that the questions are not all rhetorical, and that God does actually expect an answer from his servant at the end!