Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Job- Chapter 38

Job 38

-It is now time for the LORD to speak into this situation as He sustains a prolonged series of questions in response to all of Job and his friends’ questions concerning Him in this calamity. He answers out of the whirlwind having some sort of relation to the last chapter and Elihu’s message (see Job 37). But, it is unclear what this relationship is other than God announcing His majesty and glory through the nature that He has created and has dominion over. He makes the initial comment, which seems to be directed at Job’s four previous counselors, in direct fashion, “Who is this that darkens counsel, by words without knowledge?” In one fell-swoop He negates all that these men have tried to explain without having full awareness of the spiritual situation that was occurring. Now He would set the record straight with Job and show him who He really was without any shadow of a doubt. He commands Job to gird up his loins and act like a man. God would ask him, and he would be required to instruct the LORD, if he could. God begins, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set it measurements? Since you know.” He goes on asking about the lines of the earth and the sinking of its mantle. God wants to know who laid its cornerstone. He demands that Job tell him about when the morning stars sang together as the earth was created and how all the sons of God shouted for joy when they saw it. He then goes into His knowledge of the seas and the atmospheric conditions that make up the rain and the storms upon this great expanse. He set the limits of the oceans and told them where to stop by His great power (Job 38:1-11).

-The LORD continues His line of questioning designed to relate His authority. He asks Job if he’d ever commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know its place “that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?” The LORD describes characteristics of His planet with clay as its garment, which He coordinates withholding light from the wicked and proud. Here we see the justice of God at work. He discusses the waters next and asks Job if he’s ever actually entered into the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep. He goes on, “Have the gates of death been revealed to you (Job), or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know this.” His point in all this? I AM God and you are not Sir Job, so please decide for yourself to come under My absolute wisdom and authority. As He continues to elaborate He beseeches Job to tell Him where the way to the dwelling of light is, and where the place of darkness resides. Surely if Job knew all this, he could take it to its territory and discern the paths to its home. God sounds sarcastic at this juncture as He declares, “You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!” Next, the storehouses of snow and hail are conferred, which God says He reserves for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle (God has total authority and control over these matters of historical concern). He continues, “Where is the way that the light is divided, or the east wind scattered on the earth (Job 38:12-24)?”

-The LORD is just getting started however. He begs the question, “Who has cleft a channel for the flood, or a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land without people, on a desert without a man on it, to satisfy the waste and desolate land and to make the seeds of grass to sprout?” He is the Father of the rain and has begotten the drops of dew. He forms the frost and ice, which He personifies as having a womb and giving birth. He is the One who makes water become as hard as stone and imprisons the surface of the deep. Not only that, but He binds the chains and cords of the galaxies, of the constellations Pleiades, Orion, and the Bear with her satellites. He firmly asks, “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, of fix their rule over the earth?” He keeps going with a return to earth’s atmosphere, “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that an abundance of water will cover you? Can you send forth lightnings that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are?’” God has put wisdom in the innermost being and has given understanding to the mind. He counts the clouds with wisdom, and allows the precise amount of rain from the heavens, “when the dust hardens into a mass and the clods stick together.” This is exactly what happens we have found through scientific observation. It would have been totally unknown, it can be speculated, in this ancient culture apart from the knowledge of the Almighty. The wild-life is the theme of this final stanza in the first chapter of God’s discourse. He asks, “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens and lie in wait in their lair? Who prepares for the raven its nourishment when its young cry out to God and wander about without food (Job 38:25-41)?” God is the sustainer of all things.

-*Application* As we see here in this chapter, it becomes non-sense to argue with God in our distress. He is soooo far above us and our mundane and petty little issues here in our world. He holds the universe and directs each and every action and circumstance. Our awareness is so limited. The point? Can we just learn to trust in Him, even during rough spots, for our life and well-being? If we can do this, we are well on our way to wisdom. God is great. He is powerful enough to straighten out any dilemma we may be facing. Trust, hope, and pray. He will respond and guide in His supreme and transcendent omniscience.

Verse to Memorize: Job 38:33

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