Job 38:1


At this point in the book of Job, God starts speaking, and God says in Job 38:1-7, “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,[2] Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?[3] Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.[4] Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.[5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?[6] Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;[7] When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” The first thing that God talks about to Job is the fact that no human being knows very much about God. Paull realized that too. Our knowledge is limited about the Infinite Being. Paul wrote in First Corinthians 13:9-12, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.[10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.[11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.[12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”


Among the many things that we do not know much about is the creation. We only know a few things that the book of Genesis tells us. We certainly know that God created all things. It says in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” But none of us were there. We did not see it being created, so we do not know much at all about the beginning of all things. That is why God asks Job in verse 4, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?”   


God says in Job 38:8-18, “Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?[9] When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,[10] And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,[11] And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?[12] Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;[13] That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?[14] It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.[15] And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.[16] Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?[17] Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?[18] Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.” In verses 9 through 12 God mentions different things that He designed and put into place as part of His creation: the sea, the clouds, the daylight, and the darkness. Everything around us God designed and framed. It all came from His mind, and we know little or nothing about how He made all these things nor what His purposes for them are. It is interesting that when on this subject God says in verse 13, “that the wicked might be shaken out of it.” Just like God has a plan for those who turn to Jesus and get saved, God also has a plan for the wicked. God has a plan for those who have rebelled against Him, and ignored Him, and refused His Son. Everything in the world and the way that it is made is a part of that plan. The world will yet become good with only believers in it because the wicked will be “shaken out of it.”


In verse 15 God says, “And from the wicked their light is withholden.” The wicked are in spiritual darkness, and they cannot come out of that darkness unless God makes the Light of truth shine into them. The Light comes from Christ. Jesus is the Light of the world, but you must turn to Jesus and trust in Him to see the Light. Because the wicked do not turn to Jesus, God keeps them in spiritual darkness, and eventually they will be in the darkness of hell forever. God created darkness, and God created darkness because of the wicked.


Verse 17 is an interesting verse. God said to Job, “Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” God has the power of death, but human beings do not. God understands death and what it really means, but human beings do not. At least once we come to Christ, and read and understand the New Testament, we begin to know a few important things about death. Jesus gives us victory over death. For the Christian death is simply when we leave this earth and go to heaven to be with the Lord forever. But God controls the gates of death. God decides when someone goes through that door from which no one returns. It says in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” God sets that appointment. And got makes every death fit into His plan and His purpose. We know so little about all the details of death. Often when we lose someone, we can only bow our heads and ask why. But God knows why. God knows.


Verse 17 also mentions “the shadow of death.” Anyone can die at any moment of any day. That is a dark shadow, and it is a very large shadow. Even though death is such a stark reality, many people live as though death will not happen. But it will. The grim reaper will visit every house when it fits into God’s plan. You are under the shadow of death and there is nothing you can do to escape it. But you can be comforted, knowing that when you die, you will go to heaven if you know Jesus as Savior. It says in Psalms 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” The shadow of death should give you no fear if you know Jesus.


God says in Job 38:19-30, “Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,[20] That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?[21] Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?[22] Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,[23] Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?[24] By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?[25] Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;[26] To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;[27] To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?[28] Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?[29] Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?[30] The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.” In verse 19 God is saying that He is doing something with light and with darkness, and people do not really know what God is doing. God created the phenomenon of light and darkness, just like He created good and evil. We know that darkness is the absence of light. We know that Jesus is the Light of the world. We know that most of the world lies in darkness, spiritually speaking. We know that God is at work in the darkness to bring everyone to the Light. That is God’s goal. But we do not know the details. We do not know when or how the Spirit reaches out to each soul each day. There is so much that we do not know in the interplay of Light and darkness and the workings of God in all of it.


In the rest of the verses in this passage god mentions many of the different weather conditions on the earth. God mentions wind, and rain, and ice, and snow, and frost, and hail, and thunder, and lightning. God mentions all the changes of weather as evidence of how little man knows. We certainly still do not know the weather very well. We cannot predict the weather very well at all. The weather changes quickly too. There is so little we know about what affects the weather, when it will rain, how cold it will be, where the lightning will strike, or any of the millions of details about the weather all over the earth. But God knows, and He controls the weather. That is why Jesus could say to the wind and the waves, “Peace, be still.”


It is interesting that in talking about all the various weather conditions, God says in verse 23, “Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war.” God has a purpose to all things. A change in weather can determine the outcome of a battle in war even. George Washington and his army was delivered from a trap in New York near the beginning of the Revolutionary War by means of a dense fog that fell upon the city just at the right moment that allowed Washington and his army to escape. Why do we have the weather that we have? It’s God’s will, but no one knows the details of what God is doing with that weather. God is involved in all things, God is controlling all things, and man knows so little about it all. As Christians we have one great blessing: we know that God knows best and we can trust in Him to bring about in our lives everything that He wants to take place. It says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and to them that are the called according to his purpose


God says in Job 38:31-41, “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?[32] Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?[33] Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?[34] Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?[35] Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?[36] Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?[37] Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,[38] When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?[39] Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,[40] When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?[41] Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.” In verses 31 through 33 God points to the stars as another evidence of how little mankind knows. That is certainly a good example. We know very little about the planets in our own solar system let alone stars in other galaxies. The universe is vast beyond our ability to comprehend and we know almost nothing about it compared to all there is to know. And yet God knows every detail about everything. How little we know compared to God. And the little knowledge that we do have comes from God. That is what God is saying in verse 36: “Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart.” If you know anything that is true about life or the world around us whether it be material knowledge or spiritual knowledge, God gave you that knowledge and understanding. God is the source of all truth. In verses 39, 40, and 41 God mentions animals that He takes care of. All of the animals belong to God and God cares for them and guides them and supplies their food. Human beings know nothing about a lion in a cave somewhere and what God is doing to take care of it. The same is true of the ravens or of any other wild animal on the earth. How little we know about God, what He is doing, or why He is doing it. God knows, and we do not know. How blessed we are that we can at least know God’s salvation through faith in Christ.                                          




Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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