The study of God’s questions to Job has been an enlightening endeavor. I have been filled with wonder as I have looked at the Lord’s challenging questions to a man who had suffered the loss of almost everything. In so doing, He questions us, as well. We will be benefited by considering the Lord’s inscrutable sovereignty as we encounter the trials of life, which sometimes cause us to rage against what we may consider unfair, unnecessary, and even cruel.

After God had challenged Job about his knowledge of mountain goats (see the previous post), He offered this:

“Who has let the wild donkey go free?” (Job 39:5).1

Interesting question, isn’t it? Was there an option to not let it go free? How would one answer this question? We cannot. Human beings are not about the business of letting wild donkeys be wild or not.

Then God demanded another answer from Job:

“Is the wild ox willing to serve you?” (verse 9).

No, the Lord fashioned this beast so it would be unwilling to serve people.

In these two questions, it seems that the Lord was instructing Job that He had created these two animals to be untamable and undisciplined, and that Job had had nothing to do with that. He cannot and would never be able to change the nature of God’s handiwork.

And, of course, neither will we. We lack the ability to do so.

In verses 13-18, the Lord asked no questions but described another one of His creations, the ostrich.

“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” (Job 39:13–18).

The Lord proclaimed that He made a proud, cruel, dumb, fast, non-flying bird.

And that’s the way it is.

In the next two verses, the Lord inquired, “Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? Do you make him leap like the locust?” (Job 39:19–20).

Again, Job, if he had responded, would have replied, “No. Of course not. Only You are able to this, God Almighty.”

The Lord continued to educate Job about horses. He created them with the desire to engage without fear in the fierceness of war. There is no other animal like this, just as there are no other animals like wild donkeys, wild oxen, and ostriches.

Then Lord’s next question about His sovereignty concerns the hawk and the eagle:

“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?” (Job 39:26–27).

Job is reduced to silence again.

God’s final question before Job finally spoke:

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?” (Job 40:2).

Job was a “faultfinder,” one who, in his supposed great wisdom, found some oversight, some injustice, some error in God. However, Job did not have the knowledge to make such a judgment. As it turns out, he knew almost nothing at all. “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth” (Job 40:4).

So, for us. Do we find fault with God? Like Job, we do not possess the knowledge to do so. God is sovereign. This is the simple yet sometimes difficult-to-accept truth. We can seethe with anger. We can question. We can think Him unfair. However, He alone possesses the power and the knowledge to reign over His creation. We just simply do not.

Before we end, however, we should remember one vital truth. God was not angry with Job or consider him deserving of His wrath. When the Lord answered Satan at the beginning of the book, He asked, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8).

Trials and suffering, as terrible as they may be, do not necessarily speak of God’s anger toward us. God does as He pleases. Our necessity is to cling to Him in faith, regardless of circumstances, even if we have lost almost everything; even in the face of death itself.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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