So, everyone, including Job, has had his say. Now, it’s time for God to speak: “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind” (38:1). This seems to be an apt scenario, i.e., God speaking out of a whirlwind. It is a reminder that he is Lord over all, even the storm.
The foundations of the earth . . . the stars . . . the seas . . . the morning . . . death . . . light and darkness, etc. God is Lord over it all. Job, on the other hand, is . . . well, he’s just Job. He’s a man. But he is a man who is upright and who fears God. And though he seems to get pummeled in this questioning, God knows what he is doing. And Job listens because, finally, he has his audience with God.
Thinking about Job’s experience here with God, I cannot help but wonder about our own. My suspicion? We will all be humiliated and humbled before him because of his great holiness and our sin, but that experience will be in the service of magnifying his great grace toward us and stirring up our gratefulness. To be reminded of all that we have been redeemed from! And to look into his face and know that he has loved us! Job’s end was greater than his beginning, and so will be ours.
Another thought. Job has his audience with God, and as painful as it seems for awhile, it is exactly what he requested and what he desired. And now that he has it, God, though seemingly stern in his questioning of Job, shows that he is merciful and gracious. Like Job, we can put our cases before God and trust him in a way that we could never trust another human. Job has laid his life in the Lord’s hands, and he is not disappointed at the last.
It seems like a lot, but I just cannot help myself. I’m going to post, here, all three verses from Isaac Watts’ hymn “I sing th’ almighty power of God.”
We sing the mighty power of God
that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad
and built the lofty skies.
We sing the wisdom that ordained
the sun to rule the day;
the moon shines full at his command,
and all the stars obey.
We sing the goodness of the Lord
that filled the earth with food;
he formed the creatures with his word
and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how your wonders are displayed,
Where’er we turn our eyes,
if we survey the ground we tread
or gaze upon the skies.
There’s not a plant or flower below
but makes your glories known,
and clouds arise and tempests blow
by order from your throne;
while all that borrows life from you
is ever in your care,
and everywhere that we can be,
you, God, are present there. –Isaac Watts (18th century)