So in my "read through the Bible program" I finished Job this week. Reading all the stuff between chapter 2 & 38 reminds me of my college days after working graveyard as a policeman in McAllen Texas. Rolling into criminal justice classes and having to listing to 18 year old kids shift their mouths into gear and talk about the meaning of life and how to do police work without having a clue about reality used to nauseate me. I would sit there and think, "Come deal with some of the characters I had last night and then talk to me about your stupid opinion." Much of what Job's friends had to say and much of what Job himself said were somewhat like this. Beginning in Chapter 38, God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind and for old Job, it was like trying to drink water out of a firehose, all for the purpose of giving Job a dose of reality and helping him see things from God's point of view.
What's interesting to me as I read through this is the arguments God used from the created order of the universe, specifically pointing to the world God made, animals that He made and how they operate to demonstrate to Job God's wisdom for what He does. He blows Job out of the water with an overwhelming dose of reality. He questions Job as to where he was when the foundations of the earth where laid, does Job know the measurements, and how the earth is fastened into position? (38:4-6). He asked Job if he could explain why the ocean is not allowed to overwhelm the seashore (38:8-11). This continues all the way through to 40:2 and Job got in a brief word in 40:3-5 and basically said he could not respond. Job had the sense to realize the Creator was dressing him down and he needed to keep his mouth shut. God continues down to 41:34, referring to some vicious sea creature known as the "Leviathan" that sounds like a fire breathing dragon as God describes it. I love God's comment about this creature in 41:8 "Lay your hand on him, remember the battle, never do it again." Wow - the thought of tangling with that thing is scary enough Job, do want to tangle with the God who made that creature? Uh no.
What was Job's response? The only appropriate response to our Creator God: "I abhor myself and I repent in dust and ashes (42:6)." Job got it right. Then God turned his attention to Job's knuckle-head friends and just told them they better ask Job to pray for them so God wouldn't deal with them according to their stupidity. Then God doubled what He had taken away from Job - but never told Job what we know from Job 1 as to why all this happened.
Two thoughts to apply:
1) Creation and the order of it is a great tool to use when dealing with educated but stupid people who deny the existence of God. Before you throw stones at me, I didn't say it, God did: Ps.14:1 "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God." Ps.19 and Romans 1 make it clear that God has revealed enough of Himself in the created order of the universe to tell us He exists. The watch on my arm is evidence that somewhere, there's a watchmaker, the creation shouts to humans, that there is a Creator. God uses Creation to argue for His existence and you should too. Don't be intimidated by people who cling to evolution - everything they claim is pure folly and full of holes. The world is falling apart around us, evidence of sin's curse, decay and death, not of stuff evolving into more complex and different beings.
2) Why would God "dress down" Job, a righteous man, with that blistering commentary to set him straight, and leave his three stupid and arrogant friends alone? Heb.12:6 provides the answer: "For whom the Lord loves, He corrects and he scourges (whips) every son whom He receives." If God doesn't correct your view of reality, its very likely you do not belong to Him. Hmm. Boy am I thankful God took old Job to the woodshed and I'm thankful He takes me there regularly, I need a dose of reality. Don't you? From my little corner of the world to yours....