Taking the place of the "interpreter" of God's ways, that Job might
recognize what "uprightness" demanded, Elihu closed his discourse on
the lofty theme of the majesty and the justice of God, so the moment
had come for Divine intervention. He is God, and Almighty, as the
closing verses of Job 37 declared: He is also Jehovah, and He spoke out
of the whirlwind, to which Elihu had also alluded.
It is remarkable too that Elihu had spoken of the "noise," or "roar"
of "His voice." Wind is not visible; yet in violent motion, men feel
its pressure and hear its roar. As the whirlwind approached and its
pressure was felt, its roar was the voice of Jehovah Himself. His words
were addressed specially and only to Job. Whether what He said was
intelligible to others, we are not told. Brought face to face with
Jehovah, Job had to recognize that all his many words had darkened and
not shed light upon the matter in dispute.
If we refer back to the beginning of Job 23, we may remind ourselves
that Job in a self-confident way had expressed his wish to get into
contact with God, feeling sure that he could order his cause before
Him, and fill his mouth with arguments, and know the words in which God
would answer him. The moment had come now for his wish to be fulfilled,
and Jehovah bids him gird up his loins like a man, and be prepared to
answer the voice of God. The questionings now should come from God.
They begin with verse 4.
The words of Jehovah fill four chapters, with a brief interlude at
the opening of Job 40. Question after question is propounded for Job to
consider and answer, if he could; and all are concerned with the mighty
power that had acted in creation. Once more we see that only the
primeval revelation of God is assumed. If, as some think, Moses wrote
this book, he wrote of things that happened before the law was given,
or, at least, of circles where the law was not known. We are reminded
of what we read in Romans 2: 12-15, as we notice that "the work of the
law" was written in the heart of Job. Jehovah judged him in the light
of what he knew, and as He did so, we shall discover how Job's
conscience bore witness and his thoughts which had been excusing him
began to accuse him. The law did not make men responsible, it only
heightened their responsibility.
In verses 4-38 of
Job 38, the Lord asserts His own greatness and
Job's insignificance in the light of His mighty creatorial acts. He
started with His founding of the earth, which occasioned jubilation
among angelic beings, who witnessed it; and then He proceeded to speak
of the seas breaking forth, though in darkness, and then light
appearing so that there was a dayspring as well as darkness. After that
came mention of the wonders of snow and hail and rain, as well as the
wonders displayed in the stars, the constellations and the ordinances
of heaven. We cannot but be reminded of the early part of Genesis 1,
down to the point where we read, "He made the stars also." What did Job
know of these things? Had he entered into the springs of the sea? Or
had the gates of death opened to him?
From verse 38 and through
Job 39 the questions
refer to animals and birds, the creation of which is related in the
latter part of Genesis 1. Here again, if carefully considered, wonders
innumerable confront us, and questions were raised that Job could not
So, in the opening verses of
Job 40, Jehovah challenged Job about it
and Job at once capitulated. He acknowledged that he had spoken too
much and that now silence became him. Before his Creator, he realized
he was vile.
But the conviction that now had seized Job had to be driven into him
yet more deeply. Hence again he was challenged. He had been guilty of
disannulling the judgment of God, and condemning Him in order to
maintain his own righteousness. This was really a very great sin, and
in verses 9-14 he is condemned in a most searching way. Ironic language
is used. Let him not contend with God but rather turn his attention to
the proud and powerful among men, and abase such; then it might be
admitted that he could save himself.
From verse 15 to the end of
Job 41, the Lord makes
further reference to the wonders of His creation. He called Job's
attention to behemoth and to leviathan- probably the hippopotamus and
the crocodile. They had brute strength but no human intelligence. It
would be more easy to subdue them than to bring down proud man. In
Job's day human inventions had hardly begun, so this was probably not
so apparent as it is in our day, when these mighty creatures are easily
subdued-but not so, proud man!
Job however could not tackle leviathan or behemoth, nor could he
subdue proud man. How then could he contend with God? This was
powerfully driven home into his heart.