When God finally speaks

God has spoken at various times and in various ways in the past – at creation and called all things into existence out of nothing; through prophetic messages communicated to His people in dreams and visions; to Moses in burning bush, to Balaam through a donkey and His voice was heard rumbling from the fiery cloud that covered Israel in the wilderness. But in today’s reading from Job 38 – 41 we see that God breaks his silence and speaks to Job out of a whirlwind / storm (we can start to imagine what that might have been like given the recent thunderstorms).

Having been berated rather than supported by his friends, I would imagine that Job was by now more than a little miffed and at end of his tether. He was ready for answers.

When Job and his friends fell silent, God finally speaks. But it wasn’t what either Job or his friends expected to hear! Instead of explaining Job’s suffering, God brought Job and his friends (and us) to a new awareness of his majesty and awesome power.

God confronts Job with a series of questions in rapid succession regarding the creation and nature, that contrast God’s great power and wisdom with Job’s limited ability and understanding (38-40:2). This first discourse concludes with a repeated challenge for Job to answer these questions. Overwhelmed, Job admits his unworthiness and inability to answer.

“I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.” (Job 40:5 Message Version)

However God is not through with Job, a second discourse (40:6 – 41:34) begins with another challenge for Job to answer God’s questions. Job is asked whether he truly thinks he can annul God’s judgment, or condemn Him so that he can be justified (cf. Elihu’s charges, 32:2; 33:8-13). If Job can thunder with a voice like God’s, adorn himself with majesty, splendour, glory and beauty, bring the proud down low, then God would confess that Job could save himself.

To once more illustrate the power and wisdom of God, Job is asked to consider two impressive mysterious creatures, the behemoth and Leviathan (thought by commentators to be the hippopotamus and crocodile). If man is fearful before them, how then could one stand against God.

In spite of what Job felt or thought, God was in control of Job’s situation. Job was not alone, God was uncovering levels of pride in Job that could only be exposed revealing how the God who was control of the universe and who cared for the natural world was intimately involved with Job’s pain. God had a goal in mind all along. What he asked Job to do was to trust him.

In our other reading from 2 Corinthians 12, we see parallels to the story of Job. Paul continues to share some insights about his life, and reflects on a painful, humbling experience that he had brought before God (his thorn in the flesh). Again Satan was permitted to afflict God’s servant, yet only within the parameters set by God (cf. Job 2).

God’s answer to Paul as it was to Jo and to all of us – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

John Piper writes – “God’s design for suffering is that it magnifies Christ’s worth and power. This is grace, because the greatest joy of Christians is to see Christ magnified in our lives.”

If you have the time – you may like to view and meditate on this Youtube clip which visualises our passage from Job.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZqRX-HYpcI

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One thought on “When God finally speaks

  1. Thank you Glenn. Loved the video, very powerful! Paul acknowledges that he has areas of weakness. But he invites Jesus to help him.Talking about our weaknesses in Church community is not something that we are very good at. When we are humble enough to share with others so that we can be encouraged with the truth that we are all broken vessels. None of us have it all together only Jesus, and its on Him that our eyes need to fall upon not one another. We glorify Him when we admit we need His help in overcoming certain weaknesses. This is real community.

    A few months ago I had the privilege of going to an AA meeting. Here were people that were broken and freely sharing their stories of their weakness – alcohol, and how each one needed the Higher Power (GOD) to help them to stay sober. As I sat listening to heartbreak after heartbreak the tears flowed down my face. Compassion filled my heart. GOD was there amongst the brokeness and all the pain. There was love in that meeting it was palpable. The sad part was that so many shared that they could only find acceptance at these meetings because they felt shunned or judged at Church.

    Paul finishes this reading with a reminder of the importance of repentance which must be found in the Body of Christ. Always remembering that the process of restoration for the believer must first be acted out in repentance. My relationship with my Father is only restored when I have confessed my sin as sin and come before the Cross and be washed by the Blood of Christ. This is not a “once off”, experience at conversion but it is a lifestyle of repentance and faith.

    Another great youtube video/message can be found at:
    The Revival Hymn. It will require about 35mins to watch but its a wonderful use of 35 mins!!
    May our hearts be revived by the power of the Holy Spirit!!!!

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