THE LORD SPEAKS
Lord, I bow in worship before you. I thank you for sins forgiven and the Spirit given.
Read JOB 38:1-21
The Lord Speaks
38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!
- Job 38:7 Hebrew the sons of God
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, / almighty, victorious, your great name we praise.’1 We celebrate your majestic glory in all the earth.
God speaks to Job out of the storm (v 1). It is often this way. Jesus spoke and calmed a terrible storm on Galilee in a way that amazed his disciples, but he was teaching them through it.2 The storms that surround the Lord’s presence here may be symbolic of his might, power, and glory, but they also reflect the circumstances that Job finds himself in. I have found God coming to me amid terrible squalls too, times of extreme pain when my very life was threatened, bringing questions rather than answers, but revealing himself as Lord.
Job has said, ‘let the Almighty answer me’.3 He now receives the Lord’s answer. It comes in two divine speeches, full of challenges, each of which receives a brief answer from Job.4 The questions are rhetorical since, without waiting for answers, more queries pile up. This may not satisfy Job or us, but the point is that God is inviting Job into his presence and asking him to consider his power and majesty. Job’s eyes are being redirected away from his suffering and on to the glory of his Creator God. His vindication comes only at the end,5 but there is much for him to learn on the journey. A glimpse of God’s glory can often do more for us than many explanations.
When God began speaking to Job, his troubles were coming to an end. Whatever else we need today, we require to hear what God is saying. Whether he gives us the answers we seek or not, when God speaks, he brings revelation, growth, hope, and, ultimately, healing. Job’s trials were dreadful, but they were time-limited. There came a day when God said, ‘That’s enough’, and they were over. ‘…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.’6
Consider the stilling of the storm by Jesus.7 The disturbance responded to his words. Ask him to speak into your storm today.
Mighty God, this portion of your Word teaches that you listen to me and answer me. I pray for listening ears and an obedient will.
1 Walter C Smith, 1824–1908, ‘Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise’ 2 Matt 8:23–27 3 Job 31:35 4 Job 40:3–5; 42:1–6 5 Job 42:7,8 6 Ps 30:5 7 Matt 8:23–27
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