June 24, 2004
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 answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this 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. When the God of love said: Gird up now your loins like a man (38:3), He seemed to be saying: "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 seemed when you said: I cannot perceive Him . . . I cannot see Him (23:8-9). I want you to see that I, and I alone, control the vast universe and yet am greatly concerned with even the smallest detail of your life."
The second statement of God to Job was equally comforting: I will demand of you, and answer you 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." First, God wanted Job to consider the limitations of his own wisdom compared to the wisdom of the One who created the universe: Can you bind the sweet influences (chains) of Pleiades, or loose the bands of 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). The wisest astronomer can't explain or change one star in the marvelous array of Pleiades, one of the most beautiful clusters of stars.
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 His wisdom. Nothing is unforeseen and no one is overlooked, slighted, or left out by our Heavenly Father. He imparts inner strength and sustains us by His indwelling Holy Spirit.
God's words to the Apostle Paul were also for us: My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in (perfects your) weakness (II Corinthians 12:9).
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).
38:9 swaddlingband = wrapping; 38:12 dayspring = dawn; 39:9 unicorn = wild ox; 40:21 fens = marshes.
Staff: Karen Hawkins · Government Official: Gov. George Pataki (NY) · Country: Gambia (1 million) in West Africa · Major languages: English and Mandinka · Religious freedom · 87% Muslim; 10% animism and ancestral spirit worship; 2% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant
Prayer Suggestion: Pray in one accord and praise God as the Creator (Acts 4:24).
Optional Reading: Philippians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:18