H – Highlight
You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
E – Explain
Job 38 is where God begins to ask Job a series of questions as a rebuke. Job has been demanding to know why God allowed Job to face calamities. Job believes that he knows that there is no reasonable explanation for what he faces, because Job is not aware of actively doing unrighteousness.
The Lord’s rebuke of Job is a reminder that, while Job may know a few things, Job does not have nearly enough understanding to accuse the Lord of treating him unjustly. God gives multiple examples of simple things that he knows Job cannot explain. Job was not present at creation. Job does not know how God controls the day and night, the wind and rain, the stars in the sky, or the creatures in the sea. How then could Job expect to understand all the ways of the Almighty?
In the verse I highlighted, God is sarcastic with Job. After asking about things related to creation, light and darkness particularly, God says that Job must understand it; after all, Job was alive back then. Of course this is sarcasm. Job was not created then, and God is making sure that Job realizes just how ridiculous he looks in thinking that he can demand answers of God or that he could accuse God based on his puny knowledge and experience.
A – Apply
The first application for me is the reminder that I do not have nearly enough knowledge to ever question God and his ways. I do not know even the little things. I do not know how God actually hung the stars in space. Nor do I understand how God chose to make the tides work. Nor do I understand what makes atoms hold together and not fly apart. So, if I ever get to a place where I think that God must answer to me and my understanding, I’m making a mistake.
With that in mind, I also see an application for humanity as a whole. We think we have figured out the answers to many of the questions in Job 38. We think we know how the universe came into being. We have put people on the ocean floor to see the strange creatures down there. WE think we understand the patterns of the weather. And perhaps this shows that people believe that they do know the answers to God’s questions to Job and therefore have the right to question him and his ways.
But, in point of fact, all our knowledge is tiny. All our thinking is warped by sin. And we do not know even the most minuscule fraction of the truth of the universe to set ourselves up as opponents for God. Eve sinned in a grab for knowledge. Humans still sin because we think that our little knowledge makes us superior to the God of the Bible.
R – Respond
I want to think a little more on how the human grasping for knowledge, our assumption that we know how things work, has actually moved us away from praise and into further rebellion. Seeing the science behind the universe should lead us to worship the Lord. It has led us to arrogance and sin.
Pray: Lord, I know my knowledge is small. I was not there when you laid the foundation of the earth or set the stars in space. I do not know things that are easy for you. And I have no right to ever question your goodness. When you say in your word that a certain thing is right, it is right. When you say that a certain thing is wrong, then it is wrong. I submit to you, for you are God and I am not.