Job : How God treats his Friends 4: To Whom can you compare God?


When the Lord eventually appears there is mystery as well as revelation. He speaks from a whirlwind and instead of giving answers he asks questions. This is so often the case eg “Adam where are you?” (Gen 3:9); “What is your name?” (Gen 32:7); “Why do the nations rage?” (Ps 2:1). God is bringing Job to a place where he can see clearly (42:5)

What about Elihu? (Chs. 32-37)

Elihu seems to want to take on the role of the arbiter whom Job had longed for. He is wordy and inclined to lecture. In Chs. 36 and 37 he speaks a fine poetic passage on creation recalling Chs. 9 and 26 and leading into Ch38. Yet God appears to ignore him.

God speaks

Magnificent poetry but a number of questions:

  • Why are there two speeches and what does the second add?

  • How do they relate to the rest of the book?

  • Does the Lord ‘answer’ Job?


The grandeur of  God : Chapters 38 and 39

Now Yahweh the covenant Lord speaks – that name not used since Ch2 – here is the Advocate Job has longed for

Series of questions to show Job that what has happened is rooted in the mysteries of creation itself and humanity is only part of this (38:26)

God is Lord of creation (Ch 38)

Not just earth but starry heavens and beyond and the mysteries of the underworld

  • Cosmic Temple (vv4-7) – whole of universe his temple – but revealed on earth first in garden/temple of Eden – Angels are not co –creators but worshippers

  • Curbing evil powers (vv8-11) –sea literally also powers of darkness

  • Day and night (v12-15) – echo of creation story in Gen 1.

  • Sheol (vv16-18) – ultimate mystery

  • Similar pattern in rest of chapter about the mysteries of the skies and wind and weather


God of Providence (Ch 39)

Picture of life cycle in all its complexity

  • Mystery of birth and growth (vv1-3)

  • Mystery of freedom and domesticity (vv4-12)

  • ‘Comedy’ of life – checks and balances (vv13-18)

  • Magnificence and cruelty of nature (vv19 -30)


These chapters give great thoughts of God and lead to wonder and praise.

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