June 24

Read Job 38 -- 40

In Today's Reading:

Elihu's speech interrupted by God; God's challenge to Job; man's weakness and ingnorance; Job humbled.

Verses for Today:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding (38:1-4).

Is it any surprise that the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind (cutting short Elihu's vicious slander against the faithful servant of God), and said, Who is this (Elihu) that [darkens] counsel by words without knowledge (Job 38:1-2)?

For the first time since his suffering started, Job began hearing words of comfort rather than condemnation. The God of love seemed to be saying to Job: "Step out of the ashes; you have suffered enough; you have proven Satan a liar; get ready to move a little closer to Me. I'm not as far away from you as it seemed when you said: I cannot perceive Him . . . I cannot see Him (23:8-9). I want you to see that I control the vast universe and yet I am greatly concerned with the smallest detail of your life."

The second statement of God to Job was equally comforting: I will demand of [you], and [you] answer Me (38:3). The Lord was saying to Job: "You no longer have to listen to the insults of cruel men, for I am in control and will reveal to you the most amazing wisdom concerning the universe ever given to mankind since the creation of all things." First, God wanted Job to consider the limitations of his own wisdom compared to the infinite wisdom of the One Who created the endless universe: [Can you] bind the sweet influences of (the cluster of stars called) Pleiades, or loose the bands of (the constellation called) Orion? (38:31). God asked Job about 60 questions in this first cycle of conversation (38:1 -- 40:2), and over 80 questions altogether (38 -- 41). Neither the wisest astronomer nor the most spiritual person can explain or change one star in the marvelous array of Pleiades, one of the most beautiful clusters of stars visible to the naked eye. The only true explanation of the arrangement of the universe is recorded in the account of the fourth day of Creation (Genesis 1:14-19).

The Mighty God who created the universe also created us, cares for us, patiently listens to our prayers, and provides us with what is best for us in the light of our eternal destination. We need to see how unqualified we are to question the wisdom of the Creator as to why He would allow suffering. Every event in a Christian's life tests our faith in the love, wisdom, and power of God. Prosperity tests our spirit of generosity or it reveals our greed. Suffering tests our patience and faith, or it reveals our impatience and lack of trust. Disappointments test our trust in the Lord, and our lack of trust often leads to murmuring and bitterness.

The Word of God to the Apostle Paul were also for us: My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4). By Christ, God made the worlds (Hebrews 1:1-2; also John 1:1-3).

Word Studies:

38:9 swaddlingband = wrapping; 38:12 dayspring = dawn; 39:9 unicorn = wild ox; 40:21 fens = marshes.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Gov. George Pataki (NY) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Kuwait (2 million) in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula · Major languages: Arabic and English · Increased religious freedom following Gulf War · 95% Muslim; 4% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Thank the Lord that you have no need to fear. Trust Him one day at a time (Matthew 6:33-34).

Optional Reading: Philippians 1

Memory Verse for the Week: John 8:31-32