Job 38:1-5 (ESV)
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
This morning, I found myself pondering the questions that God put before Job. For context, Job had questioned the actions and ways of God, and God has come to respond. Rather than answering Job’s queries, the Lord has chosen to ask Job a few questions. When Job knows enough to understand the intricate workings of the universe, then the Lord will consider explaining himself to Job.
The next few chapters of Job will contain multiple questions from the Lord like the ones at the start of this section above. God asks Job where was he when God created the world and laid its foundations. He asks if Job can explain how the planet holds together, where the rain comes from, and how the light gets where it is going. Later, God will ask Job if he has the power to move the constellations through the night sky or capture the scariest of sea monsters.
What hit me as I pondered this passage is the fact that such questions should work. Such questions should humble us. Such questions should make us realize that, compared to the Lord over all creation, we know nothing. But, in our present culture, they don’t.
Take the beginning question from God. The Lord asks Job, ““Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth,” and “Who determined its measurements?” The Lord follows up with the sarcastic, “Surely you know!” God is pointing out to Job that this weak little man has no way of understanding the way that the universe is put together and held together and came into being in the first place.
Here is the problem, we think we know. We actually have become a people who believe that the questions that God put before Job are now easy. As a people, we believe that we can explain creation, the earth, and the stars. We think we know how it came together, and we assume God is not involved. The discoveries of science have made us so arrogant as not to learn from the wild mysteries that God put before Job.
Now, don’t take me as unscientific. I think we have learned much and can explain much. But no scientist has a plausible answer for the question of first cause. No scientist can explain why there is something rather than nothing. And even if a scientist has an explanation for how the planets flew into space, there is no explanation for what caused the cause.
May we, dear friends, become a people who can still marvel at the majesty of creation. God has done something that is far beyond us. You and I do not have the wisdom to know exactly how he created. Science is inadequate to explain it. That does not mean science is not a wonder in itself; it is just not ultimate. May we not lose the wonder in our arrogance.
God has created. He has put together a universe that is wonderfully ordered. He has made numbers work in ways in mathematics that boggle the mind. He has made planets turn in just the right way to shape the solar system as he wants it. He has created people for his glory. He has made atoms work. God has revealed his glory in creation, and we should marvel at this and not assume we can figure it all out. May we be humbled by the questions God used to humble Job.