Job 40: God Confronts Job

 “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.” Job 40:2

40:1,2 Moreover the Lord answered: The Lord reinforces His initial thematic challenge (38:2, 3) with a dynamic question loaded with legal terminology. The word contend means “to bring a lawsuit” (see 9:3). God reverses Job’s accusation that God has brought a lawsuit against him (see 10:2 for the same Hebrew word). It really has been Job accusing God, not the other way around. The Lord reprimands Job for his error. Who is Job to judge God? The Lord might be implying that Job has been trying to be his own “mediator” or “redeemer” (see 40:14).

1  Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said: 2  “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”

14  Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you.

40:8 The Lord confronts Job with critical errors in his speeches. Job has dared to annul God’s judgment or justice. The context of Elihu’s speeches, where Elihu used this same word concerning the Lord’s kingship over the universe (see 34:17; 37:23), suggests that Job has maligned God’s justice by claiming that God rules without establishing moral or social order in the universe (see 24:1-17). Because Job has assumed the inflexible retribution dogma, which views suffering in this world as God’s punishment for sin, Job had to condemn God in order to maintain his own innocence.

8  “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

40:9-14 The absurdity of Job’s defiant criticism of the way the Lord runs the universe (see 29:2-17 for Job’s claim to be fair in his judicial duties) is forcefully brought to his attention by God’s ironic invitation to become “king for a day” over the whole universe. If Job had the power, let him don the royal regalia of God’s majestic attributes and humble the proud and wicked forces in the world. Job had criticized God for not doing his well enough (21:30, 31; 24:1-17).

9  Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? 10  Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. 11  Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. 12  Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. 13  Hide them in the dust together, Bind their faces in hidden darkness. 14  Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you.

15  “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. 16  See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles. 17  He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. 18  His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. 19  He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword. 20  Surely the mountains yield food for him, And all the beasts of the field play there. 21  He lies under the lotus trees, In a covert of reeds and marsh. 22  The lotus trees cover him with their shade; The willows by the brook surround him. 23  Indeed the river may rage, Yet he is not disturbed; He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, 24  Though he takes it in his eyes, Or one pierces his nose with a snare.

⇒ God challenges Job. It’s not just Jacob who struggled with God. God also struggles with us. He shows us and reasons with us as much as we can comprehend. Why bother? Who are we to Him?



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