Up to this point in the book of Job, we’ve heard humans respond to the problem of suffering. Now we hear how God responds to the questions Job raises in his search for the meaning of justice, righteousness, and suffering. Some will summarize God’s reply as “I am God and you are not!” But don’t overlook the Almighty’s desire to engage Job in conversation. Gird up your loins like a man, says God (v. 3). I will question you, and you shall declare to me (v. 3). How interesting that God responds to Job’s questions with questions. Jesus often does the same in the Gospels when people ask him for answers.
I view the response in this passage as God’s breathing, “I care about you, even when the circumstances don’t make sense.” Envision the vivid picture described in these verses of God carefully measuring in order to lay the foundations of earth. Consider the description of God at work in creation in Proverbs 8:30-31, when Wisdom speaks, “Then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.”
In today’s text, God’s voice comes out of the whirlwind. Out of chaos, God speaks about the order of creation. God brings words of assurance to Job, even as this poetry begins explaining the ways that God is present in human life. Comparing elements of creation with the human birth process makes us notice how God gives life to the world. We see God working on the earth, in the cosmos, and upon the sea. The way God sets boundaries for the waters reminds us that God is not disinterested in our world. God cares deeply for us, for all people and all of creation. This conversation with God offers Job a glimpse of hope.
What evidence of God’s work—that you have seen, heard, tasted, or touched—offered you hope in a difficult time?
God, our Creator and Redeemer, thank you for your love and care. Help us grow aware of your work in our world. Amen.