Job Sees The Light - Fortieth in a series
Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion
A recap: The story of Job is about a morally pure, exemplary man whom God permits Satan to ruin, as —it would seem — a test of his faith. Satan believes Job will curse God once his gifts and blessings are removed, and that he only serves and obeys the Lord to gain his favors.
In the aftermath of the death of his children and servants and the loss of his herds and his health, three friends come to grieve with him. Following seven days and nights of silence, they begin to speak to comfort him and to sort out the mayhem. Each one believes Job has secret sins, and as he protests that he is innocent, contentious sparring is the result.
An onlooker, a younger man, offers to set all in order by his insights and wisdom. He presents many thoughts, but is silenced when God himself comes in a whirlwind to answer Job. What will he say? Why did God ruin Job, even permitting the death of his children? Was it only to win a bet with Satan?
Now, in the denouement, we see that Job needed to have his world turned upside down in order to understand the sovereignty of God as an article of faith, not in a superficial way, and that his standing with God could not depend on his own righteousness.
But could this not have been presented to his mind in a kinder manner? We could also ask: Was it absolutely necessary for Christ to be crucified? No, and Yes. Some accomplishments are very hard won.
Were Job alive today, he would need to hear the Gospel message, that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) But he lived during the time of the law (See this post).
How could the gospel be clearly understood before the death of Christ? It could not, and that is why we today are exalted from the standpoint of history. Nevertheless, people who lived before Christ could belong to God as we today can or do.
There was an age of preparation before Christ came when he was known or perceived through prophecies, promises, sacrifices and ordinances, yet even then man could understand God's acceptance as a matter of his grace and that any boasting or resting in ones own works would not open any kingdom doors. There are commonalities of the saints across all the ages. Those in the prior age who grasped them would be prepared to receive the Christ when he came.
As God preached Creation, Job began to understand that he could not earn nor produce a relationship with God and to see he was presumptuous and prideful.
Creation is the best tutor to humble man. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6-9)
In Job 39 God continues to preach creation with a focus on the winged fowl and the beasts of the earth (Gen 1:21-24). He discourses on the wild goats and hinds (Job 39: 1-4), the wild ass (Job 39: 5-8), the unicorn (Job 39: 9-12), the peacock, (Job 39: 13), the ostrich, (Job 39: 13-18), the horse (Job 39: 19-25), and the hawk and the eagle (Job 39: 26-30).
Perhaps in considering the obstinacy, blindness, boldness and sheer wonder of these, Job will reflect upon how great God is and how insignificant is man.
Job 39:1-20 NIV Job is reminded that he is very young in years compared with God.
Enjoy reading all of Job 39. It is all true and wonderful.
The general remark may here be made, that all the notices in the Bible of the subjects of science — which are indeed mostly casual and incidental — are such as are confirmed by the investigations which science in the various departments makes. Of what other ancient book but the Bible can this remark be made? …Subsequent investigations have served to confirm the accuracy of these descriptions, and they may be taken now as a correct account even to the letter of the natural history of the different animals referred to. (ref)