Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
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, 5 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?
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; He goes out to meet the weapons. 22 “He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; And he does not turn back from the sword. 23 “The quiver rattles against him, The flashing spear and javelin. 24 “With shaking and rage he races over the ground, And he does not stand still at the voice of the trumpet. 25 “As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!’ And he scents the battle from afar, And the thunder of the captains and the war cry.
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.”
If I were certain that you would read, hear and honestly answer the words of today’s text I would need to say very little. But I know very well that most people will not take the 10 minutes required to read what God spoke to Job. We are a sound byte driven society and culture. We follow and form our opinions based on tweets, memes, and headlines, rather than truly understanding and contemplating what has happened or what is said. I am amazed by the number of people who will spend so much time and energy posting things on social media in an effort to change other people’s minds, when they themselves are closed minded to any other thoughts or ideas. Most people only read or listen to what they already believe. They refuse to even consider any opinion that differs from their own. The Bible recognizes that people have this tendency. In 1 Corinthians 1:18, it says: The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
If you will take the time to read what God said to Job, you should be certain that you do it with an open mind. A doubter and scoffer will read and say that this points out the error of scripture and its foolishness compared to what people have come to know and understand. God spoke to Job about creation based on Job’s understanding. Certainly then, what was understood several thousand years ago differs from what we know today. Yet in truth; How much do we really know and understand about the magnitude and also the intricacy and complexity of creation? Much of science is based on speculation and theory. The truth is, the more we learn about things, the more questions arise. Modern medicine is a great example of both the increase and the limitations of man’s knowledge. Science developes new ideas and new medicines and treatments but often has no idea how these things will actually affect our bodies in the long term. They fix or treat one thing, only to cause a number of unwanted and unsuspected side effects. Is that wisdom or is that speculation? If we really knew and understood, there would truly be cures and not treatments.
Do you really believe that if even the most brilliant minds in any or all of the fields of science were to stand before God, individually or collectively, that they would have significantly more understanding than Job? Do you think that God could not discuss and debate quantum physics? Do you think that God’s knowledge of the vastness of the universe would not match that of the greatest astrophysicists, people who have not seen all there is to see? Do you think that the greatest minds in animal and plant biology could answer to God about the intricacies of DNA, genetics and the balance and inter working relationships in and of creation? The text says: Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “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! “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? “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? … Substitute your own name in place of Job’s and consider whether you are ready to answer God.
Remember: The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. The one answer that we need to have and believe, when we stand before God is: I believe that Jesus died for my sins.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You for the wisdom and the power of the cross. I stand in awe, not fully understanding, but fully believing. Amen.