Read Job 26
26 Then Job replied:
2 “How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
3 What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
4 Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
5 “The dead are in deep anguish,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
6 The realm of the dead is naked before God;
Destruction lies uncovered.
7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
he suspends the earth over nothing.
8 He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
9 He covers the face of the full moon,
spreading his clouds over it.
10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
for a boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of the heavens quake,
aghast at his rebuke.
12 By his power he churned up the sea;
by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13 By his breath the skies became fair;
his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
In Job 25 we saw Bildad explaining why a person like Job could not be considered righteous by God. Basically, Bildad said that Job had to have done something to deserve the acts of justice served on him. But Job knows he has done nothing sinful in God’s eyes, so Job is not happy and he is going to let Bildad know it. You can just feel the sarcasm oozing in verse 3 when Job says, “And what great insight you have displayed, Bildad!”
We know that Job is justified in feeling how he does–God already told us in earlier chapters that Job is wise and righteous. So now this is his chance to show his friends, with all of their opinions, the wisdom to which God was referring. Job speaks about the dead, the underworld, things below and things above; the rain, the clouds, the moon; the ocean, mountains, and earthquakes. Job reminds his friends that God controls them all and calms them all at His simple command.
Job descriptively marvels at the greatness and vastness of God’s creation as proof of who he knows God to be. He reminds his friends that God is so complex and dynamic that He and His ways cannot be understood. Until this point, Job has struggled, but he is beginning to find his way back to his faith. We can see Job’s heart opening to trust. He understands that his words only touch the mere edges of God’s ways. (v. 13) Job’s faith and conviction clearly run deep enough to argue for God and God’s wisdom, but his circumstances still prevent him from resting in that trust. As one commentary describes it, Job could hear the thunder of God’s power, but it didn’t tell him all he wanted to know. It was merely a small whisper of God and Job needed more. (v. 14).
The book of Job is an invitation to trust God and His ways; no matter the circumstance; even when it doesn’t make sense and we don’t have reasons for the things happening around us or to us. The beauty is that God saved these words for us. Did you ever think about why the book of Job was divinely preserved for us to read? God wanted us to see that questioning Him, and brutal honesty with Him in times of suffering, is ok. In fact, in Job 40 we will see God’s approval of Job’s response and processing when He says Job “spoke rightly” of Him. God protected these written descriptions of Job’s ugly, sinful, honest journey of suffering so that we could understand that our similar questions and struggles don’t make us bad or wrong. They make us human and honest. And it’s in that honesty that God can spread a balm of peace over our wounds, allowing us to heal and rest in His trustworthiness.
- Have you been completely honest with God about your feelings?
- What revelations remind you of God’s majesty (the mountains, the millions of stars and galaxies, the balancing of the earth on its axis at the exact right distance from the sun, etc.)? Spend some time focusing on how big God is.
- What do you know to be true about God’s wisdom?
“Job never saw why he suffered, but he saw God. And that was enough.” – Tim Keller
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