Job 38-39

Job 38-39

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.

 

Job 36-37

Job 36-37

Chapter 36: The Wicked Die without Knowledge

“Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf” (Job 36:2) Apparently Elihu saw that his listeners were becoming uncomfortable with his condemnation. He begs for them to keep listening, and insists that he is speaking on God’s behalf.

God is mighty and with wisdom, Elihu again promoted the ideas of God’s power and perfect justice. In His perfect justice, God punishes the wicked and works for the oppressed. Since Job often said and felt that God was ignoring him, Elihu is clearly counting Job among the wicked. In Elihu’s mind, the freedom God has for the righteous does not belong to Job because Job is not among the righteous.

Elihu continues to berate Job and considered Job a hypocrite for continuing to deny his guilt. He felt Job was putting himself under a greater and greater outpouring of God’s wrath.

“Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out” (Job 36:26). Elihu continues to expound on how great and power God is, insulting Job’s own knowledge and wisdom.

Chapter 37: God Controls Nature and Science

Elihu felt that Job needed a good dose of the greatness of God. So he continues to impress upon him the great power and wonders of God. Elihu explains that man hears the thunder and through that hears the voice of God. Again, insulting Job’s knowledge of the Lord, it was good advice wrongly applied to Job’s situation. This chapter to me, explains that God in his greatness controls nature and science, because he invented it!

“By the breath of God frost is given…” (Job 37:10), we can’t take this verse literally… but I like how this shows that nature is controlled by the Lord.