Thursday, January 29, 2004

The LORD Challenges Job: Job 38-39

Job 38

The LORD Challenges Job

1Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind:
2"Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? 3Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.

4"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. 5Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? 6What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone 7as the morning stars sang together and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

8"Who defined the boundaries of the sea as it burst from the womb, 9and as I clothed it with clouds and thick darkness? 10For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. 11I said, `Thus far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!'

12"Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? 13Have you ever told the daylight to spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night's wickedness? 14For the features of the earth take shape as the light approaches, and the dawn is robed in red. 15The light disturbs the haunts of the wicked, and it stops the arm that is raised in violence.

16"Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you walked about and explored their depths? 17Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? 18Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know!

19"Where does the light come from, and where does the darkness go? 20Can you take it to its home? Do you know how to get there? 21But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!

22"Have you visited the treasuries of the snow? Have you seen where the hail is made and stored? 23I have reserved it for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war. 24Where is the path to the origin of light? Where is the home of the east wind?

25"Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning? 26Who makes the rain fall on barren land, in a desert where no one lives? 27Who sends the rain that satisfies the parched ground and makes the tender grass spring up?

28"Does the rain have a father? Where does dew come from? 29Who is the mother of the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens? 30For the water turns to ice as hard as rock, and the surface of the water freezes.

31"Can you hold back the movements of the stars? Are you able to restrain the Pleiades or Orion? 32Can you ensure the proper sequence of the seasons or guide the constellation of the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? 33Do you know the laws of the universe and how God rules the earth?

34"Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? 35Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct it? 36Who gives intuition and instinct? 37Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven, 38turning the dry dust to clumps of mud?

39"Can you stalk prey for a lioness and satisfy the young lions' appetites 40as they lie in their dens or crouch in the thicket? 41Who provides food for the ravens when their young cry out to God as they wander about in hunger?

Job 38:7 Hebrew sons of God.

Job 39

The LORD's Challenge Continues

1"Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Have you watched as the wild deer are born? 2Do you know how many months they carry their young? Are you aware of the time of their delivery? 3They crouch down to give birth to their young and deliver their offspring. 4Their young grow up in the open fields, then leave their parents and never return.
5"Who makes the wild donkey wild? 6I have placed it in the wilderness; its home is the wasteland. 7It hates the noise of the city, and it has no driver to shout at it. 8The mountains are its pastureland, where it searches for every blade of grass.

9"Will the wild ox consent to being tamed? Will it stay in your stall? 10Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow? Will it plow a field for you? 11Since it is so strong, can you trust it? Can you go away and trust the ox to do your work? 12Can you rely on it to return, bringing your grain to the threshing floor?

13"The ostrich flaps her wings grandly, but they are no match for the feathers of the stork. 14She lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. 15She doesn't worry that a foot might crush them or that wild animals might destroy them. 16She is harsh toward her young, as if they were not her own. She is unconcerned though they die, 17for God has deprived her of wisdom. He has given her no understanding. 18But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.

19"Have you given the horse its strength or clothed its neck with a flowing mane? 20Did you give it the ability to leap forward like a locust? Its majestic snorting is something to hear! 21It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength. When it charges to war, 22it is unafraid. It does not run from the sword. 23The arrows rattle against it, and the spear and javelin flash. 24Fiercely it paws the ground and rushes forward into battle when the trumpet blows. 25It snorts at the sound of the bugle. It senses the battle even at a distance. It quivers at the noise of battle and the shout of the captain's commands.

26"Are you the one who makes the hawk soar and spread its wings to the south? 27Is it at your command that the eagle rises to the heights to make its nest? 28It lives on the cliffs, making its home on a distant, rocky crag. 29From there it hunts its prey, keeping watch with piercing eyes. 30Its nestlings gulp down blood, for it feeds on the carcass of the slaughtered."