Chapter 38:39-40:5 (ESV) - “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in their thicket?
Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God for help,
and wander about for lack of food?
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the does?
Can you number the months that they fulfill,
and do you know the time when they give birth,
when they crouch, bring forth their offspring,
and are delivered of their young?
Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open;
they go out and do not return to them.
“Who has let the wild donkey go free?
Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
to whom I have given the arid plain for his home
and the salt land for his dwelling place?
He scorns the tumult of the city;
he hears not the shouts of the driver.
He ranges the mountains as his pasture,
and he searches after every green thing.
“Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will he spend the night at your manger?
Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,
or will he harrow the valleys after you?
Will you depend on him because his strength is great,
and will you leave to him your labor?
Do you have faith in him that he will return your grain
and gather it to your threshing floor?
“The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
For she leaves her eggs to the earth
and lets them be warmed on the ground,
forgetting that a foot may crush them
and that the wild beast may trample them.
She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
because God has made her forget wisdom
and given her no share in understanding.
When she rouses herself to flee,
she laughs at the horse and his rider.
“Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic snorting is terrifying.
He paws in the valley and exults in his strength;
he goes out to meet the weapons.
He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
he does not turn back from the sword.
Upon him rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear, and the javelin.
With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
When the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’
He smells the battle from afar,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
“Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars
and spreads his wings toward the south?
Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
and makes his nest on high?
On the rock he dwells and makes his home,
on the rocky crag and stronghold.
From there he spies out the prey;
his eyes behold it from far away.
His young ones suck up blood,
and where the slain are, there is he.”
And the Lord said to Job:
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.”
Question to consider: Why do we complain about things that are beyond our control?
In today’s passage, the Lord continued to question Job’s insight on His creation, focusing on the living creatures which inhabit the land. Man may be considered a steward of the earth, but God is the one who provides and cares for the creatures. It is amazing to think of all that needs to take place in order for species to thrive. The mention of the oxen serving God at the manger is an interesting image which reminds me of Christ’s humble beginning. Job may not be worthy to have the oxen spend the night by the manger for him, but there would be one who fit that description.
Job recognized that he was of small account. He may have been a leader among the people, but he was powerless to do anything of consequence. Isaiah said of the one who would be high and lifted up on a cross to sprinkle many nations, “Kings shall shut their mouths because of him.” (Isaiah 52:15) Job was not worthy to speak and realized that he should proceed no further.
Are we a faultfinder of God? How often do we complain because the weather doesn’t turn out as we had hoped, or there’s nothing exciting to eat in the pantry? As a church elder, I even hear among Christians those who complain about a sermon message or about worship needing to be more contemporary as if we come to church to be entertained or to be the object of the worship.
While the Lord may serve us through His word and gifts of grace, our attitude should be one of service toward one another and gratitude for the one who blesses us. Job lived through an excruciating and dark time and yet still remained humble before God. How are we doing in that area?
Dear heavenly father, thank You for caring for Your creation. Help us to be grateful during times of blessing and times of difficulty. May we humble ourselves under Your mighty hand that You may lift us up at Your appointed time. Amen.