Today’s Reading: Job 26-42
In our humanity, we often think we know better than God what should happen. In our arrogance, we often think we have all the answers. In our ignorance, we often question God instead of submitting to His plan. But do we know? Do we understand? Can we even imagine? Are we as strong as God?
Elihu speaks boldly to Job:
“Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice as it rolls from his mouth.
It rolls across the heavens, and his lightning flashes in every direction.
Then comes the roaring of the thunder – the tremendous voice of his majesty.
He does not restrain it when he speaks. God’s voice is glorious in the thunder.
WE CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE THE GREATNESS OF HIS POWER.
“He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down.
THEN EVERYONE STOPS WORKING SO THEY CAN WATCH HIS POWER.
The wild animals take cover and stay in their dens.
The stormy wind comes from its chamber, and the driving winds bring the cold.
God’s breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water.
He loads the clouds with moisture, and they flash with his lightning.
The clouds churn about at his direction.
They do whatever he commands through the earth…
“DO YOU KNOW how God controls the storm and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
DO YOU UNDERSTAND how he moves the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill?
When you are sweltering in your clothes and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror. CAN YOU DO THAT?
“We cannot look at the sun, for it shines brightly in the sky when the wind clears away the clouds.
So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.
He is clothed in dazzling splendor.
WE CANNOT IMAGINE the power of the Almighty;
but even though he is just and righteous, he does not destroy us.
No wonder people fear him.
All who are wise show him reverence.” – Job 37:2-12,15-18,21-24
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?
Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted with joy?
Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness?
For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores.
I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’
“Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? …
“Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
Have you explored their depths?
Do you know where the gates of death are located?
Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
Do you realize the extent of the earth?
Tell me about it if you know!
“Where does the light come from, and where does the darkness go?
Can you take each to its home?
Do you know how to get there?
But of course you know all this!
For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!” … – Job 38:1-13,16-21
Then the Lord said to Job,
“Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?
You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers? …
ARE YOU AS STRONG AS GOD?”… – Job 40:1-2,9a
Then Job replied to the Lord:
“I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.
You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
It is I – and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me…
I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” – Job 42: 1-2,6
Wow, I wish I could say I have never argued with God. I wish I could claim I have never disagreed with God or questioned His decisions. Unfortunately, I am as guilty as Job. It was I who was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.
This morning I recognize that YOU, Almighty God, are strong and powerful and wonderful. I listen to the wind blowing outside and I recognize your strength. I stay inside from the cold rain and I recognize your control. I do not know what is best. I do not pretend to understand your greater plan. But I do trust you. I sit quietly and watch Your power at work – the power I cannot even fathom the depth of. You, Oh God, are holy and You, Oh God, are great! Amen.