Tell Me, if you have understanding; Since you know.
Job 38-39 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel
By words without knowledge? 3 “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?
6 “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 “Or who
enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
9 When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, 10 And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, 11 And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?
12 “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it? 14 “It is changed like clay under the seal; And they stand forth like a garment. 15 “From the wicked their light is withheld, And the uplifted arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 “Have the gates of death been revealed to you, Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? 18 “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, 20 That you may take it to its territory And that you may discern the paths to its home? 21 “You know, for you were born then, And the number of your days is great! 22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 Which I have reserved for the time of distress, For the day of war and battle? 24 “Where is the way that the light is divided, Or the east wind scattered on the earth?
25 “Who has cleft a channel for the flood, Or a way for the thunderbolt, 26 To bring rain on a land without people, On a desert without a man in it, 27 To satisfy the waste and desolate land
And to make the seeds of grass to sprout? 28 “Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29 “From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?
30 “Water becomes hard like stone, And the surface of the deep is imprisoned. 31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion? 32 “Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? 33 “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?
34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you?
35 “Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 “Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind? 37 “Who can count the clouds by wisdom, Or tip the water jars of the heavens, 38 When the dust hardens into a mass
And the clods stick together?
39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, 40 When
they crouch in their dens And lie in wait in their lair? 41 “Who prepares for the raven its nourishment
When its young cry to God And wander about without food?
39 “Do you know the time the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the deer? 2 “Can you count the months they fulfill, Or do you know the time they give birth? 3 “They kneel down, they bring forth their young, They get rid of their labor pains. 4 “Their offspring become strong, they grow up in the open field; They leave and do not return to them.
5 “Who sent out the wild donkey free? And who loosed the bonds of the swift
donkey, 6 To whom I gave the wilderness for a home And the salt land for his dwelling place? 7 “He scorns the tumult of the city, The shoutings of the driver he does not hear. 8 “He explores the mountains
for his pasture And searches after every green thing. 9 “Will the wild ox consent to serve you, Or will he spend the night at your manger? 10 “Can you bind the wild ox in a furrow with ropes,
Or will he harrow the valleys after you? 11 “Will you trust him because his strength is great
And leave your labor to him? 12 “Will you have faith in him that he will return your grain
And gather it from your threshing floor?
13 “The ostriches’ wings flap joyously With the pinion and plumage of love, 14 For she abandons her eggs to the earth And warms them in the dust, 15 And she forgets that a
foot may crush them,
Or that a wild beast may trample them. 16 “She treats her young cruelly, as if they were not hers;
Though her labor be in vain, she is unconcerned; 17 Because God has made her forget wisdom,
And has not given her a share of understanding. 18 “When she lifts herself on high, She laughs at the horse and his rider.
19 “Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? 20 “Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrible. 21 “He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength…
it by your understanding that the hawk soars, Stretching his wings toward the south?
27 “Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up And makes his nest on high? 28 “On the cliff he dwells and lodges, Upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place. 29 “From there he spies out food; His eyes see it from afar. 30 “His young ones also suck up blood; And where the slain are, there is he.”
In today’s text we hear God’s response to Job, who has complained and questioned God and His ways. God responds to Job with a series of questions and statements about Job’s understanding of creation. God says: “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” Anytime that I hear a meteorologist attempting to forecast the track and intensity of a major storm, with their wildly varying scenarios, I can’t help but to think of today’s text. God says: “Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, That you may take it to its territory And that you may discern the paths to its home? “You know, for you were born then, And the number of your days is great! “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, Which I have reserved for the time of distress, For the day of war and battle? “Where is the way that the light is divided, Or the east wind scattered on the earth?
Now of course scoffers will scoff and they will mock the lack of basic scientific knowledge displayed in these words from God. Surely man with all of our current wisdom and knowledge, no longer needs to believe in a God who spoke so plainly and foolishly. When those today would question God, I would ask; Do you think God could not have questioned Job about the complex balance of gravity, the earth’s rotation, the tilt on its axis, the precise time of earth’s orbit around the sun, how the moon affects the tides? Do you think God could not have spoken about the more complex things which affect the weather patterns and storms, el nino, la nina, polar vortexes etc? Perhaps you believe that rather than simply speak of the many and varied types of animals and how they were each different, that God wouldn’t know and understand the different kingdom, phylum, genus, and species designations we have given? Do you think that God could not have spoken of DNA and genetic markers? Could God not have spoken of quantum physics? Certainly man has gained much scientific knowledge over the thousands of years since God spoke to Job and since the Words of God were recorded in scripture. But consider this, with all that man has learned, with all the knowledge man has gained, the one thing man will never know, is how much he doesn’t know. It was never God who believed the earth was flat, or that the sun orbited the earth. That was science. If science today is honest, they will admit that with all of man’s knowledge there is much we simply do not understand. We have no knowledge of the vastness of creation or of its most intricate details. In fact every new answer science finds, asks multiple new questions, to which God already has the answers.
Many today will say God is a myth
or a fairytale. They will say that the Bible is filled with outdated foolishness. They will question the ways of God, saying if God… or why does God…? As for me, I’ll not debate with men on human terms. Many have more knowledge and understanding
of complex things than I do. For me I will take the God of creation at His Word, when He says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as
the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Those who wish to question or to mock God surely are free to do that, after all God gave them a free will. Whether here in this life or at the end of this time, I believe that they too will hear the voice of God say: “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” I believe God’s Word, even though it was written and recorded years ago by the hands of men. In Isaiah 45:23, God says: "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” If I should be wrong and my faith were foolishness, still there will be no scoffers left to scoff. For me though, I’ll stake my future in faith in the one who created the universe, in the wisdom of His Word, rather than in “all” man’s knowledge.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You for the wisdom of Your ways, revealed through Your Word and by Your Spirit. I stand in awe of You and the magnitude and intricacies of Your creation and in Your great love for me. For all that You do and all that You are, I worship You. Amen