And Out of the Tempest God Spoke

There may not be another book in the Bible as confusing to many people as the Book of Job. I have never heard anyone ever say, “I wish I could have a life like Job,” because of the pain and difficulties that he endured in his life. The story is fairly straight forward in many respects, however, it also deals with the deepest mysteries of the human condition of why the good and the bad suffer alike.

Job was a happy man who had a wife and family, and was very prosperous. In the 42 chapters of the book of Job, his wife is never given a name, but is just called “wife.”  Although she is central to the story of Job in many ways, she never appears in the book after the second chapter. The story begins when God allows Satan to test Job. Satan says Job is only faithful because of his possessions and all he has been given. Satan contends that Job will curse the Lord if he loses what he holds most dear. The Lord says this will not happen, so a deal is struck nonetheless for the soul of Job. Here lies just one of the mysteries of the story. Why God would make a deal with the devil and let a devoted servant suffer is one of the great mysteries of life. The question is continually asked by those serving the Lord, “Why do the good suffer?”  Looking at this story from a human standpoint makes little sense, but, man and God do not see things the same way, which is the essence of the story, and the message from Heaven’s perspective. Only through accepting the mysteries of God can it make any sense at all.  

In a short amount of time, Job’s children are taken from him, he loses all his livestock, and that which is most important to him in life. His body even becomes a mass of boils and sores. His wife recommends he curse God for all He has done to them. He refuses saying, since God gave it to him it was His privilege to take it back. Many scholars have said his wife continued to rebuke Job because he continued to trust in the Lord in the midst of such trails and hardship. In addition, Job has three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar who tell Job it is because of his sin that this misfortune has come upon him. This is very much the same today, where so many have an opinion, but may know very little of the circumstances of someone’s life, and why things are as they are?  It is for this reason the Lord says not to judge lest we be judged. Job protests his innocence speaking about the universal concepts of injustice versus justice to men.  

The story continues at length about the condition of Job and his explanations to his friends. As Job dialogues and presents his arguments to no avail, the mystery of suffering builds to a climax.

Finally, after hours of dialogue between God and Job, and his friends about things that will never be figured about by man, God speaks. Job is distraught to the point of wondering if his wife and friends may have been right about being forsaken by God and allowed to suffer so much, when in his own mind he has been faithful. Job is getting worn down with the misery of loss.

It is here the Creator now speaks. Job chapters 38-40 are three of the most powerful chapters in the entire bible about the true majesty of God, and the mysteries we all face trying to make sense of our lives. There is simply nothing like it in all of Scripture. In the end Job submits to the Creator’s wisdom as he has no answers to God’s reason and questions. Yahweh is clearly putting Job in his proper place. It reads,

38Then from the heart of the tempest Yahweh gave his answer to Job (in another version of the Bible it reads, “And out of the tempest God spoke”). Who is this obscuring my designs with his empty-headed words? Brace yourself like a fighter; now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me, since you are so well informed!  Who decided the dimensions of it, do you know? Or who stretched the measuring line across it? Who supports its pillars at their bases? Who laid its cornerstone when all the stars of the morning were singing with joy, and the Sons of God in chorus were chanting praise? Who pent up the sea behind closed doors when it leapt tumultuous out of the womb, when I wrapped it in a robe of mist and made black clouds its swaddling bands; when I marked the bounds it was not to cross and made it fast with a bolted gate?

Have you even in your life given order to the morning or sent the dawn to its post, telling it to grasp the earth by it edges and shake the wicked out of it, when it changes to earth to sealing clay and dyes it as man dyes his clothes; stealing the light from wicked men and breaking the arm raised to strike? Have you ever journeyed all the way to the sources, or walk where the Abyss is deepest? Have you ever been shown the gates of Death or met the janitors of Shadowland? Have you an inkling of the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you have! Which is the way to the home of the light, and where does darkness live? …if you know all of this, you must have been born with them, you must be very old by now! Have you ever visited the place where the snow is kept, or seen where the hail is stored up, which I keep for times of stress, for days of battle and war. From what direction does the lightening fork when it scatters sparks over the earth? …Can you hasten the harness of the Pleiadas, or untie Orions bands? Can you guide the morning star season by season and show the bear and its cubs which way to go? Have you grasped the celestial laws? Could you make their writ run on the earth?

Can your voice carry on as far as the clouds and make the pent-up waters do your bidding. Who makes provision for the ravens when his squabs cry out to God and crane their necks in hunger? 39 Do you know how mountain goats give birth, or have you watched the hinds in labor?  How many months do they carry their young? At what time do they give birth?…Are you the one who makes the horse so brave and covers his neck with flowing hair?…Does the hawk take flight on your advice when he spreads his wings to travel south? Does the eagle soar on your command to make her eyrie in the heights?

The conversation continues where the Lord continues to question Job about matters where he has absolutely no answers—on anything.  They are every day occurrences he may observe that may seem simple, but they are profound in their origin as they relate to the creation of the universe and all that is in it. The story centers on people thinking they understand the why’s of what Job has endured, but in reality they have no idea. It is a pure example of man’s knowledge versus God’s wisdom. It is what Yahweh told the prophet Isaiah when He said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways—it is Yahweh who speaks. Yes, the Heavens are high above the earth as my ways above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

After the Lord asks profound question over four chapters (38-41) which is 119 verses, Yahweh turns to Job and He said, Is Shaddai’s opponent willing to give in? Has God’s critic thought up an answer? Job replied to Yahweh: My words have been frivolous: what can I reply? I had better lay my finger on my lips. I have spoken once… I will not speak again; more than once…I will add nothing (Job 40: 1-5). It is question after question that are asked where Job has not a single answer. 

Job’s final answer to Yahweh then comes.  This was the final answer Job gave to Yahweh: I know that you are all powerful: what you can conceive you can perform.  I am the man who obscured your designs with my empty-headed wordsI have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand, on marvels beyond me and my knowledge (Listen I have more to say, now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me.) I knew you then only by heresay; but now having seen you with my own eyes, I retract all that I have said, and in the dust and ashes I repent (42:1-6). 

Job’s Restoration

Yahweh then rebukes the three sages who thought they had all the answers for Job’s ills. People who judged too rashly were wrong to make erroneous assumptions about the origins and reasons for Job’s afflictions. Job’s fortune is soon restored where he had double what he had before. He now has been given by Yahweh 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 oxen, 1,000 she donkeys, 7 sons, and 3 daughters. (42:7-17). There is no indication the new family is with the same wife. 

How does this story apply to us today? Mankind is greatly troubled. The infrastructure of the entire world is falling apart. Everywhere one looks systems that worked for generations no longer function as designed. Darkness has penetrated to the summit of the Church. As the saying goes, so goes the Church so goes the nation. The home was designed by God to be a domestic church, and it is in tatters. There is fear and discouragement everywhere we look. Anxiety, stress, despondency, despair, confusion, lack of discipline, and loneliness are all around us.

No man or organization is fully capable of orchestrating this evil to destroy God and His civilization but Satan himself. The insanity is so severe many people (especially woke youth) believe a man can possess a womb. Reason is an elusive concept, and to have a rational discussion with them is now an impossibility outside of the individual having a Divine experience. The virtues of civility and peaceful coexistence are largely lost because we have forgotten God as a culture. The culture is polarized on nearly every subject that arises in general conversation. We cannot find human solutions to what ails us any longer, and Heaven has a magnificent plan where things will work out exactly as Heaven has ordained it—at the appointed time.

The boil is being lanced, and the pus is coming out by the bushel basket.  No aspect of the human experience is immune from the deadly onslaught of evil in our midst. it is palpable, in our daily lives, and it is suffocating people. Evil is being exposed and is visible to see for what it is. The evil being exposed is a necessary sequential step for the light of truth to burst forth for a correction and illumination of the conscience of the world. This is the Lord’s move now as it was with Job for the restoration of the culture. 

At the moment, Satan has succeeded in seducing most of mankind. The times look bleak and shed little light humanely speaking. We will need the eyes of God to discern His Great Plan and cannot criticize God’s master plan as Job’s witless friends did. We will need to see that the victory may still be a way off, but it will come. Scripture and the voices of the prophets tell is we are the ultimate victor, that we are assured. The darker it becomes, the brighter the light will be when truth is revealed. It will be blinding to all mankind at the exact moment God ordains it. We are nearing the time when The Woman Clothed with the Sun (Rev. 12: 1-6) crushes the head of the serpent, the father of lies. As Job, we must ponder our times and know we have no answers versus the majesty of God, but accept the Lord is present and is at work.   

                                               JESUS I TRUST IN YOU