Thursday 07 October 2021

Bible Book:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. (v. 1)

Job 38:1-18 Thursday 7 October 2021



After 35 chapters of theological debate God finally speaks. For the first time in the dialogues the writer uses the word Yahweh – the LORD – for Almighty God. This was the unique name of the liberating God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3.14. Furthermore, in order to dramatise this climatic revelation an editor has inserted Elihu, an angry young man, into the text (chapters 32-37). This is done to contrast the empty words of a pretentious interloper with the glorious life-giving Word of God who is the LORD. Unlike Elihu, who tells Job and his three advisors to listen (Job 33:1, 34:1-2), Yahweh tells Job to look. Where is Job to look? He must first look into the darkness and "take it to its territory" and "find its home" (Job 38:19-21).

 Again and again Job has spoken of darkness. There is darkness on the day of his birth (3:3-4). On his death he will return to the land of gloom and deep darkness (10:21-22). God has broken him and set darkness upon his path (19:8). He is terrified of meeting God and desires only to "vanish in darkness" (23:16-17). Yahweh now appears and accuses Job of being someone who "darkens counsel by words without knowledge" (38:2).

God speaks to Job "out of the whirlwind" (38:1). Is this the same whirlwind that destroyed Job's sons and daughters? (1:19) If so, then destruction has become a vehicle of illumination. This anticipates the truth of the Cross of Christ; that redemption comes to us from a deep savage darkness beyond thought. The Christian mystic of the 16th century, St John of the Cross, tells us that "the dark night is God’s best gift to us, intended for our liberation".

To Ponder:

  • Can Covid-19 become a vehicle of illumination?
  • Christians tend to focus on the Resurrection rather than on the Cross of Christ; on light rather than darkness. Is this why our spirituality is not as deep as it could be?



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