Part 2 of Meeting God
A Series of Articles on Job 38-42
"Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Job 38:3
God has shown up – blowing Job’s mind with His entrance in the mantle of a gigantic windstorm equal to any tornado known to man. That had to be a humbling thing to see. But even more humbling was to hear God’s voice coming from the midst of it. Yet, Job probably had no idea what kind of questions God was about to ask him. He had spoken the truth about God according to Job 42:7, and God was not there to question Job’s integrity or his sincerity. What God was there to question was Job’s humility when it came to understanding the providence and sovereignty of God.
The knowledge of our own ignorance is the first step in becoming wise. As long as we hold to the fallacy of man’s great knowledge, we too will think highly of our supposed wisdom and, like Job, question God’s sovereignty and wise, loving providence in our lives. As God begins, He calls Job to summon all his great wisdom and understanding, because it is time for Job to answer a few “God-level” questions.
The manner in which God approaches these questions would make anyone a little squeamish about what was about to happen. “Hey Job,” the Lord says, “Gird up your loins like a man, because I have a series of questions, and evidently you need to instruct Me?” These words were not very comforting to Job. The phrase “Gird up you loins” had to do with how a strong warrior would tuck his outer garments into his belt so that he would be ready to run into a battle. This preparation done by any strong man that faced a difficult task. Job, though, was not facing some difficult physical task or battle situation. Job needed to get ready because he was about to face the questions of God, the Creator. There would be 77 different questions coming Job’s way from God – none of which he could answer with any great knowledge he possessed. They are still unanswerable even though we’ve had several centuries to gather up all the combined human wisdom we can muster.
The arrogance of humanity is breath-taking to consider. We can’t even process and guide what is happening in our own bodies (that is why we have the autonomous nervous system to do these things for us) let alone know what is happening in our neighborhood. But to take over providence from Almighty God requires more than just a comprehensive knowledge of our own little sphere of life. God knows intimately the “goings-on” of every body, every mind, and even the action and reaction of every human and how it will affect every other human. But please add to this the knowledge of every aspect of our planet – its animal kingdom and its inhabitants down to the smallest microorganism as well. Add to this the inner workings of earth beneath its crust, as well as all that is going on in the atmosphere and on every land mass and body of water on this spinning sphere. But wait, O wise and understanding human, there is more!
God also knows and guides every planet, every star, and every last minute piece of interplanetary space dust. Not only does he know and understand it – He designed it so that it works together as a whole. He knows and guides the trillions times trillions of interactions which take place every millisecond throughout the entire universe – and knows all that can be known about all of it. But there’s more! He directs and guides it through His wisdom and divine design structure. It “works” like it does because He made it. The universe is not random – it is designed at a level our minds could never comprehend.
Have you ever thought about the fact that we set our clocks by the atomic clock that functions within the universe itself? All of everything that has ever been made functions within an interdependent, wonderful choreography set in motion and maintained by the wisdom and understanding of the infinite and eternal God. Just a second of time in God’s infinite understanding and maintenance of the universe would fry every single computer we have ever made. Imagine the wisdom involved in bringing it into existence. Now measure that with our propensity to not even remember why we came into a room – or with remembering all the information we need to pass a test . . . that we took three years ago. Yep – like I said earlier – it is breath-taking to consider the unbelievable arrogance of mankind.
Please understand, I do not think that God was making light of Job’s situation. Scripture reminds us that God’s Son faced all that we face – and yet without ever sinning. The Lord fully grasped Job’s pain and suffering (remember, His Son was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world). What God was addressing was how Job was questioning God’s wisdom and questioning how the Lord was running things (at least in his own life). It’s interesting how we take for granted that our universe doesn’t crash into itself extinguishing life as a whole – or that our hearts pump some 2000 gallons of blood through our bodies daily – but we wonder about God’s ability to run things if it means suffering for us or a delay in our ongoing gratification today.
Christopher Morley said, “I had a million questions to ask God; but when I met Him, they all fled my mind; and it didn’t seem to matter.” That is what is going to happen to Job in the final four chapters of the book that bears his name. The tremendous suffering he encountered filled his mind with a million questions he wanted God to answer. It seemed to him that he wouldn’t be able to go on unless the answers were forthcoming. Then in a wondrous gift of mercy and grace Job met God. He didn’t just hear of God by the hearing of the ear – he was allowed to see God – and when the meeting came to it’s end, Job had no more questions. In fact, it didn’t matter if he ever got the answers he thought he had to have.
Most likely none of us will receive a meeting with God as He speaks out of a powerful tornado. But then again, probably none of us will face suffering so great as that which Job endured either. Hopefully it will suffice that God did show His mercy in meeting with Job – asking His 77 unanswerable questions – and ushering Job into a remembrance of just how little he actually knew. Hopefully we will read of such a thing – receive instruction from God’s Holy Spirit – and humbly lay down our accusations that God doesn’t know what He’s doing in our lives – in our sphere of influence – or even in the entire scope of space and time. Believe me, reading of it is far less terrifying and humbling than having to be there. The truly wise man will realize this and humble himself before God.