Today: [Job Thirty-Eight] God Replies to Job. In this verse after 35 chapters God speaks up and remonstrates with Job and his friends. In His challenge to Job the Father references the weather and astronomy in questioning Job’s knowledge of the world around him. Job and his friends didn’t have scriptures neither did they have a prophet like Moses. However Ge. 1:14 tells us that the heavens as well as the earth were for signs and seasons to speak to man of the existence of God and something of His eternal and loving character. In this we can be thankful that we have the bible and also in this we can understand on what basis God holds man accountable even though they may not have knowledge of the scripture.
[Job 38:1-41 KJV] 1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2 Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 Or [who] shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, [as if] it had issued out of the womb? 9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10 And brake up for it my decreed [place], and set bars and doors, 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? 12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; [and] caused the dayspring to know his place; 13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? 14 It is turned as clay [to] the seal; and they stand as a garment. 15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
In all of the account of the dialogue of Job and his friends we do not hear from God directly. He does not comfort Job nor correct his friends when they speak in His name to Job. For the last two chapters we have heard from Elihu who after listening to Job and his friends assert their righteousness and wisdom – spoke up in defense of the fear of the Lord and contending that they have dishonored God by their words. In concluding his remarks Elihu makes references that compare God to storms and meteorological events. It is possible he did so because he heard and saw on the horizon a storm approaching that now comes right up to the compound where Job and his friends are sheltering – and a voice, the voice of God speaks out of a whirlwind.
For 35 chapters Job has questioned God as though he has a right to do so and for an equal time Job’s friends has blithely and insistently maintained that they understand God and can righteously say what God’s mind is toward Job. For the next two chapters in various ways God asks the question “where were you when I created the earth?” Demanding in His discourse to know where Job and his friends presume to speak with such authority regarding His character and His nature. We of course realize that Job and his friends did not have any canon of scripture to go to. They are speaking out of their experience and opinion about God. Up to this point in the sacred history man knows God because God chooses to make Himself known in very subjective and very personal experiences. There was no objective resource such as the bible that could be consulted whereby to judge one’s perceptions or spiritual experiences as genuine.
Even though Job and his friends did not have scripture nonetheless they are being held accountable for their words and their deeds. On what basis did God challenge Job and his friends? In our day culture holds up subjective, personal perspectives as sacrosanct and unquestionable – maintaining that each man has a right to his own truth and any objective standard is outmoded and to be rejected. The maxim “what is right for you is right for you and what is right for me is right for me …” is a rule enforced in society and by the governments of so-called free countries where true liberty is turned into license and the common good has been sacrificed in preference to an extreme and perversion concept of personal freedom.
God challenges Job and his friends citing that which can be known of Himself in nature as Paul the apostle maintains as well as a basis of accountability:
[Rom 1:19-21 KJV] 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
What some men call “natural theology” is the basis of judgment by which God holds men – even those who have no knowledge of scripture accountable. In view of this we then gain some understanding of the despicable plan of the enemy to exclude God from scientific inquiry – suggesting that there is no evidence of God to be found in studying nature and the world around us. The spirit of deception inherent in the sciences runs very deep and his strongly wrapped up in a spirit of scorn, unbelief and mockery of any suggestion that there is a God to whom man is accountable for his life and his actions.
16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? 17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? 18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. 19 Where [is] the way [where] light dwelleth? and [as for] darkness, where [is] the place thereof, 20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths [to] the house thereof? 21 Knowest thou [it], because thou wast then born? or [because] the number of thy days [is] great? 22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, 23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? 24 By what way is the light parted, [which] scattereth the east wind upon the earth? 25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; 26 To cause it to rain on the earth, [where] no man [is; on] the wilderness, wherein [there is] no man; 27 To satisfy the desolate and waste [ground]; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? 28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? 29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? 30 The waters are hid as [with] a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. 31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? 32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
In this passage God makes reference to the stars as showing forth His glory. The Mazzaroth is what we would call the Jewish “Zodiac” that apparently was in use into antiquity perhaps even before the flood. There have been suggestions that the Mazzaroth adopted by Hebrew culture is the oldest variation of astrological systems of study from which all others (Greek, Persian, Chinese) have arisen. Most of the well known “Zodiacs” begin with a virgin sign and end with a lion – denote some ancient and common source from which all must have sprung from eternity.
There is also interesting confirmation in this passage to scientific discoveries even of the recent years. Arcturus is spoken of as a father. In recent years modern telescopes have been able to more closely examine Arcturus and have discovered it is not a single star but a binary star – so closely together in one orbit that it is almost indistinguishable as two distinct stars – thus demonstrating itself as a perfect example of a man and a woman in their role as a couple and as parents to consequent children represented by the constellations around them.
In Gen. 1:14 we read that God put the stars in the heavens for signs and for seasons. Therefore in meteorology and in astronomy God has made Himself known. In meteorology there are 7 great winds called jet streams that make up our weather system on the earth. They are representative of the 7 spirits of God mentioned in Isa. 11:3. Yet these winds were not discovered until WWII when the Japanese used them to launch bomb laden ballons toward the west coast of the US. All of creation at every level reflects an infallible representation of God as reliable if not more so than the scriptures themselves. On this basis God stands justly to hold Job and his friends accountable for what they could and should have known about Him by observing His glory in nature.
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? 34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? 35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we [are]? 36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? 37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, 38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together? 39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, 40 When they couch in [their] dens, [and] abide in the covert to lie in wait? 41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
In Psalms 19:1 and two other verses in the scripture we read “the heavens declare the glory of God…” In other words in studying the night sky we can learn something of the glory of God that Paul said in Col. 1:26,27 is on the inside of us. E.W. Bullinger has written a detailed study of astronomy titled “The Witness of the Stars”. Bullinger takes Psalms 19:1 and uses it as a base goes on to expand the understanding of astronomy as a vivid and compelling confirmation of God’s word. Many of the references Bullinger draws from are found in these passages in the book of Job.
Two constellations mentioned are Orion and Pleiades. Pleiades is a cluster of 7 stars in the constellation Taurus. They are a type of the seven churches as seven women that Isa. 4:1 and Rev. 1:4 speak of. They are in the constellation Taurus because Taurus is a bull which speaks of services and bearing the yoke which Jesus refers to when He says “My yoke is easy – My burden is light…” Orion is one of the most conspicuous constellations in the sky and is connected in almost all it’s mythology to resurrection. The ancient Egyptians portrayed Orion as a man standing on a serpent.
We can see then that even in Job’s day with no bible and no commonly accessible prophetic voice such as Moses that men were nonetheless accountable for that which could be known of God in the world around them. Likewise in our day when the scriptures themselves are so universally rejected by modern man they are nonetheless accountable though when they look at nature they “do not like to retain God in their knowledge” as Paul decried in Romans. For us we simply rejoice that while we hold dear our personal and subjective spiritual experiences with Christ that we have the objective standard of the received word of God in the scriptures to hold in a place of security in our understanding of our savior.
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