[This week there is a surplus of Old Testament and Psalm passages to chose from. And because I could not pick just one set, today and tomorrow I am going to comment on two out of the three sets – one set today and one set tomorrow.]
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?— when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped’?” (Job 38:1-11)
God continues to question Job, and Job does not have very much of an answer. Indeed, who could form a worthy response that could compare to the glory that is the Lord. In answer to the question of the Lord, “Who are you to question Me?” the proper response is, I am no one and nothing.” What one should do instead is praise God instead of, as Job did, question why the Lord does as the Divine does.
“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.” (Psalms 107:1-3)
But this is only one aspect of God – this thundering God who speaks from the storm and asks why humanity should question the Almighty. Jesus came as an approachable God who welcomed questions and longed to reveal himself. Remember the passage from Mark we looked at Monday; remember too the passage from II Corinthians where the writer of Corinthians urges his readers to accept the gift of salvation offered by a God who wants to be known. The writer of II Corinthians lists all the things he and his fellow missionaries have gone through in order to bring the news of salvation to the Corinthians and others. Read the other section of Psalms 107 that is paired with this passage from Job.
“Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters;
they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their calamity; they reeled and staggered like drunkards, and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out from their distress; he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
We see the theme again of the power that the seas have, and we remember that Jesus calmed the sea. Surely than Jesus is of God, for who but the Creator of the seas could calm them. God might have questioned Job fiercely, but all that Job had was restored to him when he acknowledge the Supremacy of the the Lord.
We will look tomorrow at the other set of Old Testament and Psalms matching, and see what learnings we will find there. Selah!