I would probably call it “sarcasm”. The voice of the LORD answers Job, “Out of the whirlwind”; and asks Job a lot of questions which seem to have a lot of sarcasm in them. “Sarcasm” is defined in the Mirriam/Webster Dictionary as “1 a cutting, contemptuous remark: 2 Ironical criticism or reproach”. The latter one being the better understanding of God’s rebuke of Job.
My reading today was from Job 38 – Psalms 9. We will comment on Job alone.
Chapter 37 ended all the comments by the friends of Job. Job’s comments have ended as well. God has been silent up until chapter 38, then He speaks with sarcastic rebuke. I say it is sarcasm because of the way God questions Job. For instance,
“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” 38:2
The LORD is clearly speaking to Job. It is not even clear if his friends; Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are still around; or their friend Elihu. Another question God asks Job,
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.” v. 4
Of course God knows the answers to these questions and Job’s final response is found,
“Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, ‘Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.’ Then Job answered the LORD, and said, ‘Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” Job 40:1-5 (KJV)
Job had spent hours defending himself before his friends; what he would do if he were given a chance to stand before the LORD, and argue his case with Him. Now God is speaking to him, and he clamps his hand over his mouth to silence himself. There are many questions we all have stated that we would like to ask the LORD when we see Him face to face. My thought on that is; especially after looking at Job’s response; is that ours will be very similar. Just His sight and His presence will answer it all for us.
There have been, and some just recently; tornadoes and storms which have wreaked out devastation throughout the U. S. of A. Lives have been lost. One whole family of five lost their lives in one city. Questions abound. One of which in these cases is, “Where was God when all these tragedies took place?” or “Why doesn’t God put an end to all this chaos, even of evil?” If you will notice; From where did God speak to Job? “Out of the whirlwind”. At least twice this is said in 38:1 and 40:6.
Where was God in all these tragedies? He speaks from out of them. We need to listen. Why doesn’t God put an end to all this chaos and evil? I used to ask that question a lot, then one day in a still small voice I heard the Lord say in my heart, “If I ridded the world of evil, I would rid the world of you.” I have not asked the question since, except of course to tell about it. I thank Him for His wonderful grace. His grace and mercy has allowed that more have not died, than could have.
God reminds Job of two creatures He has made. The “behemoth”, and the “leviathan”. Now some interpreters interpret these creatures as being a hippopotamus and a crocodile. The description it gives is too immense to be either. There are some scholars who put the book of Job as written earlier than the books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy). There are some; of whom I am one; who believe these creatures are of the time of, what we call, the dinosaurs. The behemoth could be that one large one with the long neck reaching to the tops of trees, with the large tail dragging on the ground some of the time. The other sounds like some sort of creature which breaths fire. These are both extinct now, as far as we know.
Some of you may laugh, but God’s word is true. And, if God gives us evidence that men were on earth with the dinosaurs, then we better take heed to it.
In the end Job is back, right with God and with his friends. His friends are told by God to take a sacrifice for themselves, Job would pray for them, and God would forgive them too. We are also told that God gave Job twice what he had before. He even had seven more sons and three more daughters.
A point is made in verse 15 of chapter 42,
“And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.”
Even Job was able to see the plan of God to make all one in Christ Jesus,
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galations 3:28-29 (KJV)
Job was soundly rebuked by God, and shown the ridiculousness of his questions and charges. Trust God, believe Him. He sees a larger picture than you or I do.
-Tim A. Blankenship