A Cord of Three Strands

God’s answer to Job

Posted by David Staff on

Job 40:1-9

And the Lord said to Job, “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Then Job answered the Lord and said, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “Dress for action like a man; I will answer you, and you will make it known to me. Will you even put Me in the wrong? Will you condemn Me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God and can you thunder with a voice like His?”

When God finally speaks, breaking in to so much so-called human counsel (which actually darkened rather than enlightened Job’s situation), the Almighty peppers Job with relentless questions. God asks Job about the scope of his knowledge and power. The questions probe every part of what God created and designed in the known universe. The point of God’s questions is not merely to prove to Job how limited and powerless he actually is. More importantly, they demonstrate the extent of God’s sovereign power and powerful sovereignty.

God’s point? If Job had come to the conclusion that the undeserved suffering that rained into his life was somehow outside of God’s rightful control and purposes, it was a conclusion he needed to shed in humble worship. No mere human, regardless of what may happen to him, can rightly accuse this Almighty, All-knowing, and All-Righteous God of a lack of purposeful control. Man must always realize there are things in this creation he cannot control, while at the same time acknowledge there is nothing outside of the purposeful control of God himself. From any wrongful presumption, Job loathes his words and the attitude behind it, and repents.

As Christopher Ash notes, “The book of Job is not fundamentally about suffering. The book of Job is about God….and true worship… and about the humility to admit (as Job 28 shows) that there is much about the world we do not understand. Wisdom is God’s preserve. It is this God…whom we are called to love and trust.” (Job: The Wisdom of the Cross).

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