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 ignorance; Job humbled

Is it any surprise that God interrupted Elihu's speech and said to Job: "Who is this confused, ignorant person who questions My wisdom?" (Job 38:1-2). A few translations imply that God was speaking of Job, but this would not be consistent with the two statements of God saying that Job was perfect and had spoken what was right (1:8; 42:7).

For the first time since his suffering started, Job began hearing words of comfort rather than condemnation. The God of love encouraged Job to: "Stand up and step out of the ashes. You have suffered long 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 has seemed" (38:3; 23:8-9). God wanted to reveal to Job, and to us, that He, and He alone, is in control of the vast universe, and yet is greatly concerned with even the smallest detail of our lives.

The second statement of God to Job was equally comforting. People had been cruel, spitting in his face (30:10); but, now the God of Creation wanted his attention (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." First, God wanted Job to consider the limitations of his own wisdom compared to the wisdom of the One who had created the universe (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). The wisest astronomer can't explain or change one star in the marvelous array of Pleiades, one of the most beautiful clusters of stars; but the One Who had hung those stars in space was now carrying on an intimate conversation with Job.

The mighty God, Who created the vast universe also created each of us, cares for us, patiently listens to our prayers, and provides us with what is best in light of our eternal destination. We need to realize how unqualified we are to question His wisdom. Nothing is unforeseen and no one is overlooked, slighted, or left out by our Heavenly Father. He imparts inner strength and sustains Christians by His indwelling Holy Spirit.

The words of God to the Apostle Paul are also applicable to us. God is sufficient to satisfy our every need, for His power works best in our weaknesses (II Corinthians 12:9).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4). By Christ, God created our universe (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:

Pray for Claudia Wintoch, German translator · The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in Honor of Rick Hash · BPM Staff: Ilene Wallace · Government Official: Gov. George Pataki (NY) · Country: Guatemala (12 million) in Central America · Major languages: Spanish and Indian languages · Religious freedom · 93% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Be specific in your prayers (Luke 18:41-43).

Optional Reading: Philippians 1

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