Chapter 38: Nature and God
The Lord speaks to Job from the whirlwind;
“Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou had understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7)
Over the previous 35 chapters (since Job 2), God has been directly absent from the account. We read nothing of God’s direct role in comforting, speaking to, or sustaining Job in the midst of his crisis. Over that time, Job has ached repeatedly for a word from God.
Here, God responds to Job and asks him where he was when the Lord set the foundation of the world. Some scholars would say that God was using this to explain that Job was nowhere to be found, and that only God would answer this question. However, this is where I and the LDS church disagree. I believe that God was referencing our pre-earth life where we lived with God. Notice how is says that when all the sons of God “shouted for joy” – they shouted for joy because God created the Earth for us, so we could come down and have the experiences we are now having. God was reminding Job of what he had forgotten, God is his Heavenly Father and he has a heavenly home.
From verse 8-41 God asks Job a lot of questions about the nature of man and the power of God and how God created and controls nature. 8-12 specifically references God’s work on the second day of creation (Genesis 1:6-8) when God divided the waters and separated the land from the sea.
It mentions a lot of interesting things about the creation of the Earth;
“…the springs of the sea…” (Job 38:16)
“…the gates of death…” (Job 38:17)
“…the breadth (vast expanses) of the earth…” (Job 38:18)
“…the treasures (storehouses) of the snow…” (Job 38:22)
“…rain on the earth…” (Job 38:27)
“…the face of the deep…” (Job 38:30)
“…the ordinances of heaven…” (Job 38:33)
“…bottles of heaven…” (Job 38:37)
Chapter 39: Man Knows Nothing
“Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth?” (Job 39:1) God kept bringing the level of knowledge down for Job. He could, quite possibly, know such facts of nature from simple observation. Yet even this low level of knowledge was beyond Job, or really any man for that matter.
God continues to go on about fairly simple truths of science and nature that neither Job nor his friends knew. God essentially makes the point that Man’s weakness and ignorance is nothing like Gods. God is mighty and his works are mighty.