John T. Willis

Monday, November 09, 2009

God's First Speech--Job 38:1-40:5--Part 1--God's Incomprehensible Inanimate Works

In tandem with the speech[es] of Elihu, and especially the conclusion related in Job 36:24-37:24, God now breaks his silence and begins to speak to Job, BECAUSE Elihu has properly prepared Job to listen to God.

God delivers two speeches. The first speech appears in Job 38:1-40:2, and Job replies in Job 40:3-5. God's first speech falls into three parts. The first part declares God's incomprehensible inanimate works in the universe and one earth. This is recorded in Job 38:1-38. This falls into eight sections.

I. God first sets straight the relationship between God and humanity. Job 38:1-3. Job assumed that Job, a human being, had the right to speak first, and put God in judgment. Job declared that he could beat God in a fair court trial. God responds by making two points.
a. Job speaks with "words without knowledge." Verses 1-2. We human beings think we know "everything." Not so. We are very, very, very ignorant. God knows everything, and we need to learn to listen to God.
b. It is not appropriate for a human being to initiate a conversation with God and show God is wrong. Just the opposite: The appropriate approach is for God to question human beings and then allow human beings to response. Verse 3.

II. God now fills the air with questions for Job and every human being to answer these question. First, God discusses the creation of the universe. Job 38:4-7. God created all that is. Where were human beings watching and working there? Human beings are not in any condition to explain how God created all that is. God challenges Job to explain all this. Job does not reply.

III. Who made the sea and determined that it could go thus far and then stop, making a clear distinction between the sea and the dry land? Job 38:8-11. No one can explain this or cause it to happen. Job cannot respond.

IV. Why do we live each day partly in light and partly in darkness? Why is the world like this? Can any human being make this happen? Job 38:12-15. Job cannot respond, nor can any human being.

V. Can any human being enter into the depths of the sea, death, or the expanse of the earth? Job 38:16-18. This is incomprehensible for any human being.

VI. Where do light and darkness and snow and rain come from? We experience all this, but it is beyond our origin or our ability to cause all this to happen. Job
38:19-30. The language here is highly metaphorical. The picture is that "light" or "darkness" or "snow" or "rain" lives in houses or storehouses, and when God needs any of these things, he goes to these houses and brings out whatever he needs or desires.

VII. Can anyone make or explain the constellations of the sky, the Milky Way, the Big Dipper or Bear, Orion, and other constellations? To think of such a thing is incomprehensible for us human beings. Job 38:31-33.

VIII. Can anyone explain clouds, waters, lightning, the mind of a human being? Of course not. Job cannot respond, nor can we. Job 38:34-38.

God's point is that life is not about "understanding" God or "comprehending" God, but to love God and appreciate God and fear God and worship God and serve God. Next he will discuss animals and birds. This will be very interesting. Stay with the text.

What are YOUR insights? Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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