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XI. God’s Response (Job 38:1–41:34)

After each visitor had his say, the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind (38:1). In other words, God took over and did a face-to-face with Job that revealed his awesome sovereignty and power, leaving Job flat on the ground. He said, Who . . . obscures my counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer me like a man (38:2-3). Previously, Job had demanded a hearing with God. So, the lesson here is this: be careful what you wish for.

God’s grilling of Job brings us to chapter 40, in which Job was finally allowed to speak. The court date hadn’t turned out as Job had expected. The Lord had made the most awe-inspiring and irrefutable opening statement ever before pausing to permit Job a chance to reply: Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who argues with God give an answer (40:2). Job, however, couldn’t answer a single one of God’s questions—let alone the whole multitude of them.

Job responded the only way a frail human could: I am so insignificant. How can I answer you? . . . I have spoken once, and I will not reply; twice, but now I can add nothing (40:4-5). Nevertheless, the Lord wasn’t finished with him yet: Would you really challenge my justice? Would you declare me guilty to justify yourself? (40:8).

This confrontation is a small glimpse of the future. It’s one thing to scold God for his handling of our affairs when we can’t see or hear him. It’s another thing to confront God to his face. Yet, all of us will stand before him face-to-face one day like Job. Job was moved to repentance. Will you shake your fist at God? Or, bow your head in humility?

Within this section, the Lord also directed Job’s attention to Behemoth and Leviathan (40:15–41:34). Clearly, these beasts were the epitome of strength, ferocity, and terror in Job’s day. Yet, they were also objects of God’s creative power and wisdom. Humanity cannot comprehend all the intricacies of such creatures. How much less, then, can we comprehend the mysteries of God’s providential dealings?

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