The Book of Job-Chapter Forty:
continues His response to Job. But this, I think, is really a challenge to
all of us. If there is one among us who can do all the things God does, he can
step forward and speak to God as an equal.
By contrast, those who can't should be still
in His presence. I've found that God wants me and, frankly, He loves me. He
loves you too. But He doesn't require our advice on ANY subject. He just
doesn't need it and I know I've insulted Him many times by offering and
preferring my ideas over His.
"Put Up or Shut
Verses 1-2: "Moreover the LORD
answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with
the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it."
Job and his friends have all, apparently, been insulting the Lord
in their reactions to Job's troubles. I can relate to them. It's hard to be
humble and patient (and sometimes quiet) when suffering or even the fear of
possible suffering comes along. It can also
be hard on a good day. But Job has been learning all along, as we've noted
He's been taking baby steps, getting closer and closer- more close than ever
before- to the God he has claimed to serve all along. Now
we clearly see the spiritual fruit that has been born from his sorrows:
Verses 3-5: "Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my
mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice;
but I will proceed no further."
Wow! Job is
ready now to listen carefully and God, very wonderfully, is ready to keep on speaking:
Verses 6-8: "Then
answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird
up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto
me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me,
that thou mayest be righteous?"
beloved, we play at church and worship only until something unpleasant
happens. Then we begin to lose our respect for the Lord. I do this (I'm
struggling with it at the time if this writing, in fact). That's why we need
to remember Job, for sooner or later we all will suffer in many ways. And
OUR faith will be shaken, and OUR spiritual weaknesses revealed. And like
Job we will have to persevere. And hopefully we will cover our own mouths
and surrender to Him anew as Job is finally doing right now.
Verse 9: "Hast
thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?"
Job thought the believer's covenant was to honor God in order
to avoid trouble. His faith was rocked off its foundation when the
troubles came anyway. The only way he could explain it was to find
fault with God Himself. But we have no standing to argue
against Him. Listen:
Verse 10: "Deck
thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and
I think I see what the Lord is getting at: maybe it is envy
that drives us to despise our Maker when calamity strikes. His
Majesty, Excellence, Glory, and Beauty. . . hey, is the
Lord hoarding something that should be mine? Why not me, why can't I have
But His attributes aren't a hoard, they are a weapon. And
one He wields well against all pride and wickedness.
Verses 11-12: "Cast
abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase
Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the
wicked in their place."
I can't do that. Why, I can barely fight my own
wickedness. Even the best of our leaders and
peace officers could never confront and defeat evil on any kind of
universal scale (and would likely admit it). Until we can do that, until we
can hold our ground against ALL comers and guarantee the ultimate triumph of
Love and Goodness over pride and hate in Heaven and in earth we must hold
our peace when God speaks.
Verses 13-14: "Hide
them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also
confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee."
As in the previous chapter practical examples from the natural
world are being offered as windows into the power and knowledge of their
Verse 15: "Behold
now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox."
Notice the Lord points out that this beast was something He
made, as are we! It's all to humble Job. Does it humble you? He goes on:
"Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is
in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of
his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass;
his bones are like bars of iron."
I'm not sure
what we've got here- some say hippo, others say maybe a dinosaur?
Whatever this thing is, it is scary, right? It could be deadly
to approach, no doubt. But the Lord didn't make it and
then run for cover. Even in all its strength, God is still its Master and
Verses 19-23: "He
is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to
approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the
beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of
the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows
of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth
not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his
Take a good look, God says. This is a special creature,
amazing and noteworthy (whatever it was). A creature no man
could tame and certainly that no man could create. A tribute to God's power
and knowledge. Without the Lord's help, no one would ever
catch or this thing!
Verse 24: "He
taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares."
The mere sight
of this beast should be enough to humble anybody. Especially those of us who
begin at times to believe that we know more than Our Lord.