How Great Is Our God! | Job 38 – 42:6

Job 38 – Job 42:6 | How Great Is Our God!

Have you ever wondered about the greatness of our God? God’s nature, deeds, and attributes are incomparable. What we see around in nature is only a glimpse of God’s greatness. Our God is all-knowing. Secondly, Our God is all-powerful. Thirdly, Our God is all-present. When you think about the greatness of God, you can’t help but surrender in worship.

Job had been lying in unrelieved misery for months. He had been dealing with death of his 10 children and to make matters worse Job had open sores all over his body. All of his wealth had vanished in one afternoon.

Initially, Job responded in great faith and amazing submission:

He said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil?”

Job had become repulsive to his wife, loathsome to his brothers, and even little children despised him as he lay on the ash heap outside of town.

As the misery drug out over the months, Job wavered in his confidence that God was for him. Job cursed the day of his birth. When Job’s three friends came and accused Job and his children of sinning against God, Job defended himself and in the process said things about God that were not true.

  • Job said that God is treating him as an enemy.
  • Elihu comes in and rebukes Job.
  • Elihu said, “Job is a righteous man, though not perfect, and that he is loved by God. God is not treating him as his enemy but as his child and friend.”
  • Elihu said that the purpose of Job’s trials were to refine Job’s righteousness.

A Gathering Storm and God’s Rebuke of Job

Toward the end of Elihu’s speech (32–37) a thunderstorm had gathered on the horizon and filled him with awe. God approached in this storm and brings Elihu’s words to a close. Out of the whirlwind comes the voice of God to Job in chapters 38.

Job 38:1-2 1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 2“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?

Elihu is the first part of Job’s answer for suffering and God’s words out of the whirlwind is the second part of answer to Job in his suffering.

God is in fact continuing what Elihu spoke. “If one needs to hear from God, one need some clear theology taught by some godly teacher and one need to hear from God.”

When God shows up it is terrifying

Let’s see what God have to say to Job?

Job Is On Trial Before God

Job 38:3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

God is telling Job, “You have been questioning me for long. Now it is time for you Job to be put on trial.” It’s time for God to be the questioning attorney. Then God beings a long interrogation.

God Makes Two speeches:

First God Tells How Ignorant Job Is

Job has not forced God to speak. God does not defend his justice in the speech. But God takes a different approach altogether. What God is doing is trying to demonstrate is the complexity of the created world.

God deals with a lot of issues that are on the edge, the extreme areas of the ordered world, things that human beings did not understand very well. By showing the complexity of the world, God is demonstrating Job’s ignorance of how it works.

Job’s three friends had been talking about God’s justice but God does not take that route at all. God tells Job that there are things in the created order that Job cannot understand, then how can he understand the creator God?

GOD QUESTIONS JOB ABOUT THE WORLD BELOW.

First God focuses on the earth.

Job 38:4-7 4“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—7while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

You weren’t there, Job when I laid the earth’s foundation, and you don’t know how I did it. You cannot lay it today if you wanted to.

God Focuses On The Sea And Its Boundaries

Job 38:8-11 8“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?

It was I, Job, I set its limits of the sea, not you Job. You weren’t there and you don’t know how I did it.

God Focuses On The Dawn

God focuses on the light coming from the horizon

Job 38:12-14 12“Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, 13that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? 14The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.

Job, you can never order the morning. I have ordered the dawn. You don’t know how to do it.

God Focuses On The Depth And Breadth Of The Sea And Land.

Job 38:16-18 16“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? 18Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.

Job, you have never even been to the bottom of the ocean? You never walked around the earth. ou cannot question the way I run the world.

The is the first half of God’s response, it focuses on the world below.

GOD QUESTIONS JOB ABOUT THE WORLD ABOVE

Then in the last half of chapter 38 God says, “Job, let’s look up. Let us see if you have any knowledge of what is going on up there.”

God Questions Job About The Origin Of Light And Darkness

Job 38:19-20

19“What is the way to the abode of light?

And where does darkness reside?

20Can you take them to their places?

Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

“Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness?” You don’t know where it is or how to get there. But I do, Job. I made the light.

God Asks Job About Snow And Hail And Rain And Frost

Job 38:22-30

22“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow

or seen the storehouses of the hail,

23which I reserve for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

24What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,

or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

25Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,

26to water a land where no one lives,

an uninhabited desert,

27to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?

28Does the rain have a father?

Who fathers the drops of dew?

29From whose womb comes the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

30when the waters become hard as stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen?

Do you know anything about how to store up hail for the day of battle? Would you know how to cut a channel in the sky to make it rain on a land where no man is?

Now God is asking Job to lift his eyes even a little higher.

Look At The Constellations

Job 38:31-33

31“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?

Can you loosen Orion’s belt?

32Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons

or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

33Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

Job, lift your eyes even higher, and look at the constellations: Pleiades, Orion, the constellations. “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?”

God Then Questions Job About The World Of Animals.

God gives prey for the lions.Job 38:39-40
God provides food for the ravens.Job 38:41
God cares for the mountain goat and its birth.Job 39:1-4
God cares for the wild donkey.Job 39:5-8
God cares for the wild ox.Job 39:9–12
God cares for the foolish ostrich.Job 39:13–18
God gives the horse its strength.Job 39:19-22
God cares for the hawk.Job 39:26
God cares for the eagle.Job 39:26-29

Think of it, Job! I am on top of all these things. Every time a wild deer in the forest that gives birth—I am there, I help it out. Every mountain goat in Australia and Africa—when they bring forth, I am there; I know their months. I care for the young. Do you know about the crores of things going on right now in the world? I am there, helping it out and you have absolutely no control or knowledge at all of it.

Tell me Job, knowing none of these things what can you presume to tell me? I know everything that is going on. You don’t know anything and you are going to suggest to me what is right and wrong?

Think of it, Job! When a man sees a work of God, like your suffering, can he see its connection to ten thousand other realities in the world like I can? If not, how will he dare to judge its wisdom?

The point here is: Job is ignorant.

Job Is Ignorant Of God’s Wisdom.

So whether we focus on the earth or the sea or the dawn or the snow or hail or constellations or rain, the upshot of all these questions is that Job is ignorant and impotent. He doesn’t know where they came from. Also, He doesn’t know how to make them work. He is utterly surrounded, above and below, by mysteries. And so are we.

The scientific advancements of the world are like a handful of saltwater hauled from the ocean of His wisdom. The scientific advancements of the world are like water dumped in a hole on the beach while the tide is rising. God is not impressed. We should be overwhelmed with our ignorance, not impressed with science. I hope with the little science that the world knows you don’t doubt Him. Don’t doubt Him because of the few the discovering of the science today. All the scientific discoveries are like a little girl taking the water from the Indian Ocean in a jar and says, “I have got the Indian Ocean in here.” God is not impressed by our knowledge. If we are astonished by science, that is because we have blinded ourselves to the mysteries of God in this world below and the world above.

Job and his friends are thinking that the non-order in the world, the suffering in the world comes from disorder or evil. But when He comes into the picture, God tells them that, that they are not sufficiently knowledgeable to layout any equation. Everything in creation, nature, and in man’s life is ordered by Him.

See for example how God uses rain:

Job 38:22-27

22“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow

or seen the storehouses of the hail,

23which I reserve for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

25Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,

26to water a land where no one lives,

an uninhabited desert,

27to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?

  • Rain can bring judgement.
  • Rain also brings blessing and prosperity in the fields.
  • But He is also bringing rain where no one lives.

Rain is not operating here in a justice system, God certainly can use it that way but they do not always operate in a justice system. So God is disabusing/correcting Job as he makes him aware of his ignorance. The retribution principle (prosperity for good and punishment for evil) is not the appropriate formula to understand how the world works.

God Now Pauses for Job’s Response

So at the beginning of chapter 40, God pauses in his interrogation to give Job a chance to respond.

Job 40:1-2 1The Lord said to Job:

2“Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?

Let him who accuses God answer him!”

3Then Job answered the Lord:

4“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?

I put my hand over my mouth.

5I spoke once, but I have no answer—

twice, but I will say no more.”

Job is getting the point: A finite creature who has no wisdom to run this world and has no knowledge of how He runs this world has no business instructing his Maker and Ruler how to run the world, even condemning Him for the way he runs it.

How do we think we are when we rebuke or murmur against God?

Job acknowledges his inability to answer His questions in Job 40. We are ignorant of God’s work. The role of this book is not to confess ignorance. The goal of the book is not just to confess that we know nothing. The book wants to help us develop a conviction to help us how to think about His policies in our lives.

YAHWEH’s second Speech

God Continues His Case Against Job

He presses his case further against Job in 40:6–9 as he speaks again out of the whirlwind.

Job 40:6-9

6Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:

7“Brace yourself like a man;

I will question you,

and you shall answer me.

8“Would you discredit my justice?

Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

9Do you have an arm like God’s,

and can your voice thunder like his?

God’s Ways Are Always Right Because He Is Almighty God

There is no greater reality than God with which we can judge God’s actions. He would not be God if he submitted to something outside himself. Yes, God is right. Instead, he wants us to see that his might is purposeful.

God’s Holy And Purposeful Might

So in 40:10–14, God challenges Job to join him in this holy and purposeful might. Take control of what I do.

Job 40:10-14

10Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,

and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.

11Unleash the fury of your wrath,

look at all who are proud and bring them low,

12look at all who are proud and humble them,

crush the wicked where they stand.

13Bury them all in the dust together;

shroud their faces in the grave.

14Then I myself will admit to you

that your own right hand can save you.

God says, “I employ my might to clothe myself with splendor and to bring down the proud and to exalt the humble.” In other words the rightness of God’s might is not merely that it is God’s, but also that its purposes are consistence with his excellence.

The goodness of God is just this: God upholds his glory by brings down the proud and giving the humble exaltation and delight in his excellence.

God then invites Job to consider two of the greatest and most terrifying beasts he created in Job 40:15-41:34.

The Giant Of The Land: Behemoth

  • Resembles the hippopotamus or perhaps a giant dinosaur.
  • They are now extinct.
Behemoth – The Giant Of The Land
Behemoth is huge but lives on grass,Job 40:15
Behemoth powerful and first among the works of God.Job 40:16-19
Behemoth hides in the marshes and forests, yet is not afraid even of a raging river.  Job 40:21-23
No man can capture it.Job 40:24
  • God can confront Behemoth with just a sword.
  • God has absolute control over it and it does no harm to other animals.
  • Job has no control over Behemoth.

Monster Of The Sea: Leviathan

  • Job 41:1; Psalm 74:14; 104:26
  • Leviathan is a great sea creature.
  • Leviathan is a creature with great destructive power.
  • God can subdue leviathan.
  • Job has no control or authority of it.

God asks Job:

Can Job catch Leviathan creature like a fish with a hook? No.Job 41:1
Can Job make Leviathan a slave for life? NoJob 41:2-4
Would Job make Leviathan a pet of it? NoJob 41:5
Can Job make use Leviathan for commercial purposes for profit? No.Job 41:6

If Job cannot capture and control a Behemoth or Leviathan, how can he presume to stand and make a claim against YAHWEH who controls everything under heaven including Leviathan?

The purpose of these series of questions is to teach Job that he is a very small part of God’s creation and has no right to demand anything of his Maker. How can Job, who cannot control even the animals around him, tell YAHWEH what he must do and how he must treat the innocent and guilty?

God is sovereign over all creation, and so he has the freedom to do what is right and best, even if we cannot understand his purposes.

The first speech of YAHWEH indicated how Job should not think. Job should not think that he knows everything in his suffering.

We Have Limited Knowledge Of Our Own Lives.

The second speech indicates how Job should think. God is powerful than Job. Everything God does is for a purpose.

God Does Everything For His Purpose And Glory

Job Is Brought to Submission and Worship

THREE STEPS OF JOB’S SUBMISSION: JOB 42:1-6

Let us apply them to ourselves and join in our submission to God.

1. Job Submits To God’s Absolute Sovereignty.

Job 42:1-2 1Then Job replied to the Lord: 2“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Job submits to God’s absolute sovereignty. God you can do anything you want to do, you can do whatever you please, and is not constrained by anything outside himself. Not Satan, not man or me can thwart your purposes. You are sovereign, I submit says Job.

2. Job Submits To The Superior Wisdom Of God.

Job 42:3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

There is knowledge and wisdom so far beyond my ability to perceive and comprehend that I have spoken stupid things without any knowledge.

3. Job Repents

Job 42:4-6 4“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

He submits to God’s infinitely greater wisdom and knowledge: he has spoken about things of which he is very ignorant.

Job said, “My ears had hear of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

1. God Is Absolutely Sovereign

Believe with all your heart in the absolute sovereignty of God.

If that is a troubling reality for you, pray that God would give you that conviction. God will give you a heart to submit and with all your heart God’s absolute sovereignty.

2. We Have Limited Knowledge Of Our Own Lives.

3. Everything He Does Is Right And Good

God Does Everything For His Purpose And Glory Pray that God will give you that assurance. Pray that He will give you eyes to see and ears to hear the way Job did.

4. Repent

Repent of all the times you have questioned Him or found fault with Him in the way he has treated you. Pray that God would humble you to see these murmurings as sinful and you would be forgiven of those sins.

4. Submit Yourself to God.

Be Satisfied With The Holy Will Of God And Do Not Murmur. Submit yourself to him. Rest in God. Believe that God will not hold any good things for those who walk uprightly. No matter how hard it looks on the face of it.

George Muller 1805-1898 was the founder of the Plymouth Brethren Movement. His wife died of rheumatic fever on February 6, 1870. They had been married 39 years and 4 months. They had been pondering two days earlier to her death Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

He look right into her eye and he said, “This is true Mary.”

The Lord gave him the strength to preach at her memorial service. He said, “I miss her in numberless ways, and shall miss her yet more and more. But as a child of God, and as a servant of the Lord Jesus, I bow, I am satisfied with the will of my Heavenly Father, I seek by perfect submission to His holy will to glorify Him, I kiss continually the hand that has thus afflicted me.”

We all need to submit fully to Him. I summon you as we close to engage your heart to submit yourself fully to God. If you have not come to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, your submission first starts by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord, and then you submit to Him everything that comes across your life and way believing in the sovereignty of God.

Cry out to Him that He will teach us to be more submissive and willing to the work of God in our lives.

Link to the BOOK OF JOB series below.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Gonna Pillay

    Dear Rev Shine Thomas

    Greetings in Jesus Name

    I cannot find words to express my sincere thanks to God for raising a Man such as yourself to impart such divine truth to us Children of the Most High God. Your teaching and insight to the Holy Scriptures are Divinely connected and I love the messages from God through You.

    Once the Pandemic is over, I will come to visit you all in India.
    Continue the great work and the Lord Bless you all very Much.

    I pray for you daily in my prayer times.

    Bro Gonna Pillay
    Eastern Cape, East London
    South Africa

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