Thursday

11 October 2018

Job 38:1-18

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind.

Psalm: Psalm 7:1-11

Background

God can now speak to Job. Think of all that he has been through: a righteous man to whom dreadful things have happened; a well-respected man who has been shamed and patronised by unhelpful counsel; a terrified man hemmed in by God, the mighty, fearful and overwhelming God. Job brought low, but still held. And God speaks to him and challenges all his complaining and weakness.

Job’s questioning of God, the plaintive, haunting searching, “O where shall wisdom be found” from yesterday’s reading is now matched by the impossible questioning of God. He seems to be saying, “Just who do you think you are? Where were you when I was busy being God! Get a grip, Job! Grow up!” This may sound like ‘tough love’ in its toughest form. God’s bedside manner is not of the highest order. But from a different perspective it is what Job needs to hear. He needs to know that God is still God and that Job’s suffering are not the consequence of an enfeebled God who doesn’t know any better. He needs to know that he can get a grip, that he will cope, that even after all his losses he himself is not lost. With the taunting challenge of God, “declare if you know it”, Job must sense both the gravity of God’s almighty power, and the hope that such an awesome reality must have in his life. It is because God is God and Job isn’t, that Job can begin to hope. It is because God expects him to “gird up his loins”, that he has a chance of survival. Sometimes it is only when you are utterly out of your depth that you discover you are in God’s depth!

 

To Ponder

  • Have you ever felt utterly out of your depth? Where was God in that difficult time?
  • When have you had to trust someone else completely?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Mark Wakelin

Born in Africa to missionary parents, Mark Wakelin is a Methodist minister, He was the President of the Methodist Conference 2012/2013, and before that worked for the Connexional Team, as the secretary for internal relationships. He is now the minster at Epsom Methodist Chuch.