God continues to respond to Job’s questions by describing divine concern for all the animals in creation. In Job’s ancient Near East agrarian society, people who kept sheep and goats necessarily knew the important details about their livestock, such as when the birth seasons occurred and the length of the gestation periods.
But God cares for more than the familiar sheep and goats of domestic flocks. God notes the wild mountain goats and wild deer, the wild ass and wild ox. Job doesn’t know the details about these animals, but God makes the point that these lives that cannot be tamed are known to their Creator, who creates ways to provide for them.
Earlier, Job complains that he has lived a righteous life. He knows many contemptible people who thrive, though they should be banished from society. The wild ass becomes God’s metaphor for the outcasts to whom Job refers. Job is wrestling with the cultural assumption that one’s sins cause one’s suffering and he seeks God’s explanation for his problems. God points him towards evidence that God cares for all creation and is present with the outcast. God is caringly present with Job, hearing and responding to his concerns.
When we suffer, God is with us. Immediate relief or explanation may not come in the form we seek, but God’s response to Job assures us that God is strengthening and sustaining us. Thanks be to God.
When have you struggled to trust God in the midst of adversity? How do we seek God’s comfort when we feel God is far away?
God, you give life to the world. Breathe your Spirit into us today, that we may know of your love and care. Amen.