God's Speech (Part 1)
After numerous speeches are made by Job and his friends, God Himself speaks. Join us as we enjoy the first part of God's speech and see why Job truly is a wise man.

After 35 chapters of dialogue between Job and his friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, & Elihu), God Himself speaks to Job. As God begins, He directs His words to Job by overwhelming him with nearly sixty questions. These inquiries serve as a series of invitations to serious thoughts and consideration about man's limited understanding (about everything) and God's implicit wisdom, power, and greatness as the Creator of everything. These questions are designed to bring Job (and all who study God's speech) to a greater comprehension of the awesome ways of Jehovah and to subsequently cause him to trust God even when the circumstances of life are puzzling, frustrating, and even depressing.

God's approach to Job is unique in that He avoids most of the previous topics that have been discussed by the five men. He does not explicitly criticize Job for his searching and questioning. In fact, we will later note where God praises Job for primarily speaking correctly about Him. In spite of not answering Job's specific questions, the man from Uz is more than satisfied with God's reply. The words of the Lord humble Job very quickly, and they still have that effect today upon the wise.

Let us take the time to read the first portion of God's speech in its entirety at this time (Job 38:1-40:5). I have formatted God's questions as bullet points for emphasis. I will intersperse just a few comments in brackets as we consider these questions:

"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: 'Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'" [In other words, get ready, Job, for the debate you longed for!]

"Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said: 'Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.' Then Job answered the LORD and said: 'Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; yes, twice, but I will proceed no further" (Job 38:1-40:5).

Job was frustrated and depressed, but he was no fool. Although he now has the chance to speak to God directly, he wisely decides not to use it (cf. 42:1-6)! Essentially God has challenged Job: "You've seen the knowledge and control I have over nature; tell me, is there something you think I have failed in?" The implication is clear: If God hadn't failed in such diverse and wondrous matters, what makes Job think God has failed him in any way? Job admits that he is too small or insignificant (a better rendering than "vile" is my estimation) to give an answer to God's questions. Although we have learned the answer to some of these questions in the last thousand years, most of these questions modern man still cannot answer affirmatively and likely never will.

Again, let it be emphasized that the questions God piles up for the great patriarch do not specifically answer Job's questions. But, they do clearly demonstrate the concept of God's power. Deity has all power and all knowledge to these questions and more; what does man have in comparison? Lots and lots of ignorance and weakness. Consequently, man must learn to trust in God and His ways--even when we don't understand why something has happened or why we're suffering. Friends, Job realized he didn't need to have all the answers when such a great God was in control; may we fully embrace Job's disposition in this regard!

A poet once expressed this sentiment in three powerful lines: Our job is not to reason why. Our job is not to make reply. Our job is but to do and die. Amen!

We will continue studying God's speech to Job in our next feature lesson. Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.