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(Job 38:1-18) Water, Earth & Sky

(Job 38:1-18) Water, Earth & Sky

Series: Sermons in Job
Ref: Job 38:1–18

Whenever you need a renewed perspective of God's transcendence and his imminence, just step outside!


Earth, Sky & Water

Job 38:1-18

Perhaps the best known scientific celebrity of the past couple of decades was Carl Sagan.  He was a renowned astronomer, not to mention antagonistic atheist who seemed bent on destroying any belief in biblical creationism and theism. 

He became the leading voice for naturalism – that everything has a natural cause and a natural explanation.

His tribe has increased over the years.   I read recently one religious leaders attempt to explain away the miracle of Jesus walking on the water by postulating that Christ was walking on floating pieces of ice.  How do you suggest that and keep a straight face?!  Instead of walking on the waves of the storm, Jesus was evidently surfing on pieces of floating ice over to the disciples boat – and none of that’s a miracle?

That’s naturalism.

It is the twin sister of evolution – that all there is can be explained by natural processes.

However, these systems of belief require faith – faith in the universe itself.  And so it isn’t surprising that Carl Sagan was led to give the universe divine attributes. 

Listen to what he repeated on every show that aired on television each week, and I quote, “The universe is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” 

Ladies and Gentlemen, all the scientists in the world, including Carl Sagan could never scientifically measure all that was, and all that is, and all that is to come.

This is a statement of faith!!

And they will take their leap of faith and attribute omniscience and omnipotence to the universe – to Mother nature – she gives life . . . she orders life . . . she  created all there is.

This is nothing less than the religion of nature.  This is the deification of the universe.  It really doesn’t get rid of omniscient eternal being, it just changes who that being is.

Sagan looked at the universe and came to the conclusion that nothing was greater than what he saw.

All comments on Sagan adapted from John MacArthur, The Battle for the Beginning (W Publishing, 2001), p. 12


If you fell asleep 75 years ago and woke up today to learn of our politically correct views regarding origins and the evolution of man and the deification of nature you would be convinced that our intelligence is not developing forward but going backward. 

It’s true . . . Paul said it would be a sign of intellectual digression in any culture to cast off the creator and deify creation.   In Romans 1:22 Paul wrote of those who deny the Creator, “They are professing to be wise but they have become fools.”

And so today, for people in our world to consider a tree or the sun to be self-conscious relatives of the human race, is simply another step downward and backward and away from wisdom.

Let me give you an example:

Two recent transcripts that came across National Public Radio were related to a journalistic contest that invited articles on a persons values and beliefs.

One elderly woman – who grew up just like you did and went to a mainline Protestant church most of her life, now retired wrote, “I am sitting on our small deck knitting and resting old legs, entertained by my spiritual sister, an equally old pine tree.  She is a least as old as I am.  She leans a bit; so do I.  We both soak in the sun and the air and trying our best to live lightly in our worlds.  One day in the not too distant future she will fall and fertilize the earth, and so will I.  It’s a consoling thought.  (what about exactly is consoling?)  She writes, I have lost my traditional heaven and hell beliefs . . . there are those who want to give my life more importance than the tree, but I don’t believe them.  (Never mind that she’s sitting on a deck of wood as she writes this).  They think there is a special place for me somewhere for eternity, but I don’t believe them.  I believe my tree and all other living things believe and feel in their particular living way.”

NPR Citation: August 15, 2005, Ruth Kamps: Living Life with Grace and Elegant Treeness”

Another author, this one a published poet and professor at the University of New Mexico, writes in her article dated, July 8, 2007, “I believe in the sun.  (s u n) In the tangle of human failures of fear, greed and forgetfulness, the sun gives me clarity.  The sun is our relative and illuminates our path on this earth.  Humans are vulnerable and rely on the kindnesses of the earth and the sun.   (Do you hear how creation is given divine attributes when the Creator is denied?)  Humans rely on the kindnesses of the earth and the sun.

She writes, One day recently, I walked out of a hotel room just off Times Square at dawn to find the sun.  It was the fourth morning since the birth of my fourth granddaughter.  I had bundled up the baby and carried her outside.  I held her up and presented her to the sun, so she would be recognized as a relative, so that she wouldn’t forget this connection, this promise, so that we all remember the sacredness of life.” (end quote)

NPR citation, July 8, 2007; Joy Harjo, “A Sacred Connection to the Sun.”

How tragic to not understand that to give the sun the attributes of God is to void the sacredness of life.  For it is God who makes life sacred.

But to our culture, mankind has become nothing more than an animal with no more dignity and personal worth than a pine tree.

Paul wrote of this in Romans 1; they unbeliever becomes futile in their speculations and their foolish heart is darkened . . . they suppress the truth of a Creator and elevated creation.  Romans 1:21-23


In 1996 Carl Sagan died.  Less than three weeks before he died he was interviewed by Ted Koppel on Nightline.  Sagan knew he was dying and Koppel asked him, “Dr. Sagan, do you have any pearls of wisdom that you would like to give to the human race?”  To which Sagan responded bleakly, “We live on a hunk of rock and metal circling a humdrum star that is one of 400 billion other stars in the Milky Way. . . this is well worth pondering.”

Is that it? 

Yes.  Because the religion of naturalism and the faith in evolution and even the mystical reach of pantheism lead ultimately to the utter insignificance of humanity which then naturally leads to despair.

All you and the trees are gonna do is die and fertilize some plot of ground.

Listen to the despair and utter sense of insignificance, and panic from a book published near the end of Carl Sagan’s life in which he wrote this . . . which never gets any press; and I quote, “Our planet is a speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.  In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

MacArthur, p. 14

If only he’d read Job.

There is help . . . there is hope!

God eventually speaks to Job.  The encounter we have longed for and fully expected has come to pass.

And the amazing thing is that God begins by giving Job a lesson on creationism, not suffering.

Instead of answering Job’s questions and ours about why bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people, God reveals His power and providence over all that He created.

Evidently, to the mind of God, understanding that He alone is the creator of all that is brings a person back from the edge of despair and utter insignificance and bitterness and breathes new perspective and fresh faith into his heart.

These chapters are for believers, ladies and gentlemen.  They won’t breath faith into the unredeemed.  Only more skepticism.  Only more unbelief.  But for those of us who believe, this tour around God’s creation will bolster our faith and give us fresh new joy in the greatness and glory of God – which then has a way of settling our fears and quieting our heart.

For Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.  Isaiah 26:3

God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind, in chapter 38 and verse 4.  Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell me, if you have understanding.  Who set its measurements?  Since you know.  Or who stretched the line on it?  On what were its bases sunk?  Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Would you notice that God doesn’t begin 4 chapters of a response by proving to Job that He was the one who created the earth.  He just begins here with the reminder that Job wasn’t there when He did it!

God was the eyewitness to the beginning.

Because of special revelation – that inspired scripture you hold in your lap – you have been given the only eyewitness account of beginning of time; from the Creator himself.

It was Herbert Spencer, the philosopher and early enthusiastic  advocate of Darwin who outlined five scientific ideas that he believed categorized everything that science could investigate:

time, force, action, space and matter. 

He believed that everything that could be known could fit into one of those five categories; however, as with all naturalistic dead ended theories, he had to give at least one of them eternality since no evolutionary process could account for the origin of any of them.  So at least one of them must be eternal in order to spawn the other 4, so to speak.

Even though he couldn’t account for the origin of time, force, action, space and matter – he believed correctly that these five can categorize everything.

In the opening lines of God’s special revelation, Genesis 1:1 you actually have the origin of all five of Spencer’s categories.

            In the beginning – that’s time;

            In the beginning, God – that’s force;

            In the beginning, God created – that’s action;

            In the beginning, God created the heavens – that’s space;

In the beginning, God created the heavens – that’s matter.

In these few opening words, God reveals the origin of everything.

Adapted from MacArthur, p. 40

Nehemiah, the rebuilder of Jerusalem prayed in chapter 9, “You alone are the Lord.  You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.  You give life to everything.  (Nehemiah 9:6)

Now in these first 15verses of Job chapter 38, the Lord will give Job a quiz about earth, sky and sea.

  1. Earth   (4-7; 18)

Job, God asks, in verse 4, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth; (where were you when) I set its measurements and stretched the line on it (v. 5); sunk its bases – or foundations and laid its cornerstone (v. 6).

God is speaking in the language of an architect and builder.  The site for the building is traced or surveyed.  A measuring line (qaw) was stretched out to ensure the exact measurements are followed; who made sure the foundations were dug and block laid correctly and the cornerstone squarely?

In other words, “Job, were you there to check my blueprints?  Did I need you or anyone to make sure the precise measurements necessary for the sustaining of life were followed?”

Now Job has already delivered the staggering truth in chapter 26, verse 7, “He stretches out the north over the empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.”  Not on the back of a huge turtle; not on the back of an elephant; not on the shoulders of Atlas.  Nothing. 

Job is revealing amazing scientific truth.  The north pointing axis of the earth is extended indefinitely beyond the boundaries of the earth’s surface, pointing to the polar star and orienting both the geography of the earth and the stars in the heavens. 

One believing scientist writes, ‘Job is telling us not only that the earth was suspended in space but also that it rotates about its north projecting axis, maintained in its orbit by a mysterious force we call gravity, which could just as rationally be called nothing – or perhaps better yet, the will of God.

Henry Morris, The Remarkable Record of Job (Master Books, 1988), p. 40

And since no human being was there to see God do it, you either believe the record of God or come up with your own manmade theory.

It’s interesting to live long enough to hear that the rock solid theory of the Big Bang has developed cracks.  Not that it was ever easy to believe. 

In John MacArthur’s book, Battle for the Beginning, he writes of one popular theory knows as the Big Bang.  Scientists who hold to the big bang theory must explain how a universe full of matter appeared out of nowhere in an instant.  An article in the Los Angeles Times reported: The Big Bang theory is looking more supernatural all the time.  About 20 years ago, the late Carl Sagan famously said that Big Bang science would eventually show that the universe was created without any creator.  Since then, the picture has changed quite a bit.  Now there is a growing theory within Big Bang thinking called cosmic inflation which holds that the entire universe popped out of a point with no content and no dimensions, expanding instantaneously to its current size.  Now being taught at Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other top schools, this explanation of the beginning of the universe bears haunting similarity to the traditional theological notion of creation “out of nothing.”

Listen, this article quoted one of the world’s foremost astronomers, Allan Sandage of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution in Pasadena, CA, who recently proposed that the Big Bang could only be understood as ‘a miracle,’ in which some higher force must have played a role.”

MacArthur, p. 94

Can you imagine being dead for only 11 years and MIT and the Carnegie Institute saying, that’s all wrong;  in fact, the Big Bang doesn’t remove the necessity of a divine being, it reveals the necessity for an original Cause.

If you want to know how the world began, you must get the information from the only source who can tell us.  No human observed the process, and no human can repeat the process. 

Morris, p. 102

Notice there were other eyewitnesses to the details of earth’s creation mentioned in verse 7, “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

In Job chapter 1, the sons of God are a reference to angels who came to present themselves and Satan was among them.

This is poetic parallelism – the morning stars are the same individuals as the sons of God.

In fact, according to the account given in Genesis 1, physical stars you see in the sky were not created unto the fourth day. 

And Exodus 20 adds to the testimony Genesis 1 that all things created were created during the 6 days of creation.  So angels weren’t created eons before Genesis 1. 

For angels to be able to rejoice over the creation of the earth on day three, according to Job chapter 38, we can safely assume, though we’re not specifically told, that angels were created during the first day of creation, along with light.

This host of heaven was created, fully capable and willing to sing the glories of their Creator God. 

Just as Adam and Eve were created fully grown and mature, capable of communicating, worshipping – carrying on their God given assignments, so the angels were created, fully capable and ready to sing and serve their Creator’s bidding.

John Hartley wrote in his New International Commentary on Job, “In ancient times, the laying of a foundation stone for a public building such as a temple was a high occasion and was commemorated by a celebration with music and praise.  God informs Job (in chapter 38) that on the occasion of laying earth’s cornerstone, the angels were assembled as an angelic chorus to sing praises to God the Creator for the glory of His world.”

John E. Hartley, The Book of Job (Eerdmans, 1988), p. 495

This would also mean that somewhere between day one and the temptation of Eve in the garden of Eden, Satan will try to seize the throne of God as he leads an uprising which resulted in the fall of millions of angels, still led to this day by Lucifer – whose destruction is ever nearer.

  1. Sea      (8-11; 16)


God moves now from questions regarding the origin of earth, to questions regarding the sea.

Notice verse 8.  Or who enclosed the sea with doors when, bursting forth, it went out from the womb.

Several ancient Near Eastern myths that attempt to explain the origin of the sea – or the ocean, such as the “Enuma Elish” from Babylon and the Baal Cycle from Ugarit – they recount the fierce battle in which their supreme deity won his right to rule by defeating the sea god.  Epoch battles took place for the gods and/or goddesses to conquer the sea.

Hartley, p. 496

In total contrast  to mythical thought, the sea here in Job 38 is spoken of as an new born infant (v. 8) and God put a diaper of darkness on it and pajamas made of clouds (v. 9); he put it in a playpen designed by himself and He put up the baby gate (v. 10);He placed restrictions that the sea immediately submitted to (v. 11).  For God said “Thus far you shall come, but no further; and here shall your proud waves stop?”

Adapted from Morris, p. 166

We know that our Creator has instituted all the necessary secondary causes to keep the tides consistent with His plan to care for the ecosystems of our world.

Science has discovered the amazing effect of the moon upon our ocean tides. 

Ocean tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational pull.  The moon circles the earth and completes a full orbit around the earth every 27.3 days, traveling a distance of almost a million and a half miles each month.  It drives faster than I do.

As the moon orbits around the earth, it causes the earth to swell ever so slightly.  The earth actually bulges out toward the moon, and this is what affects the water level of the oceans.  As the earth rotates on its axis, those bulges move across the face of the earth – creating two high and two low tides every day. 

Just this one characteristic of planet earth and its bodies of water is absolutely vital to sustaining life on planet earth.

Scientists have now spent nearly 20 billion dollars trying to answer the question of how the moon evolved.  The record of scripture tells us it was accomplished by the creative power and word of God on the fourth day.

MacArthur, p. 111

And Job is reminded by God in verses 8-11 that the movement and boundaries of bodies of water is determined and directed, even in their ebb and flow, by His creative handiwork.

God now moves from questions about the earth (vv. 4-7) and questions about the sea (vv. 8-11) to questions about the sky (vv. 12-15).


  1. Sky      (12-15)

Notice God’s question to Job in verse 12.  Have you ever in your life commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know its place?

Hey Job, have you ever created a new day?

One author provoked my thinking regarding this question by bringing up the context of Job’s ancient world.  On the first day of creation God commanded the light into existence (Genesis 1:3-5).  Each dawn thereafter was considered a reenactment of that first day.  The ancients didn’t view nature as a system of mechanical laws, did not consider the succession of days guaranteed, but believed that God spoke each new day into existence.

Hartley, p. 496

So God is virtually asking Job, “Job, can you call into existence the miracle of light?  Can you create a new day?”

Of course the answer is, “no.”

Today we understand that the heavenly bodies of light – primarily the sun, was created by God in the heavens on the fourth day – and the precise tilt of the earth’s axis and the exact make-up of the sun, creates new dawns and dark nights. 

Then again, God’s perfect handiwork is an amazing thing to further discover.

Today we know that the rotation of the earth on it’s axis is what determines a 24 hour day.  The moon’s orbits around the earth determine our months.  And the earth’s revolutions around the sun determine our years. 

Even the precise tilt of the earth’s axis is vital in maintaining earth’s seasons.  One author wrote, “Imagine how different life would be if the earth suddenly began rotation at one-third its current speed.  Days would be three times longer. (How many Mom’s of 2 years olds like the sound of that?)  We would be forced to stagger our sleep so that sometimes we would sleep during sunlight hours and remain awake during long hours of darkness.  The variation in daytime and nighttime temperatures would be dramatically altered.  Every rhythm of our lives would be overthrown.  But all life on earth is perfectly suited to a 24 hour day, and according to Scripture, that is because the same Creator who made all living things also determined and fixed the length of our days.

MacArthur, p. 114

Charles Boyle, a brilliant thinker and devoted Christian was fascinated with Kepler’s and Newton’s discoveries about planetary motion and the intricate design of the universe.  Boyle hired a watchmaker to design an actual working mechanical model of the solar system that demonstrated the motion of the planets around the sun.  They all moved mechanically according to the pattern of their orbit.  It was an incredible display of skill and precision.  On one occasion Boyle was showing the model to an atheistic scientist, who was very impressed with the clockwork model.  The atheist said, “This is a very impressive model.  Who make it for you?”  Boyle responded with a grin, “No one made it . . . it just happened.”


By the word of the Lord the heavens were made;

And by the breath of His mouth all their host –

(the stars and planets)

He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;

He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

ALet all the earth fear the Lord ; Let all the inhabitants of  eth world stand in awe of Him.

For He spoke and it was done;

He commanded, and it stood fast.

The counsel of the Lord stands forever,

The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

(Psalm 33:6-11)

Earth, water and sky – created by the word of the Lord and the breath of His mouth.

The conclusion of every believer – we stand in awe of Him!

We find our hope in Him.

We find peace and joy in Him.

We find the answer to our questions is Him.

We find our future securely bound in His plan.

For these angels who rejoiced at the creation of the earth celebrate at the conversion of every sinner and the new creation of a believer in Christ.  They also shall sing around the throne of God, along with all the redeemed, as we praise this Creator God who has set us free forever.

And the world who does not believe?  They continue on in their ever increasing panic to find an answer other than God.


One brilliant physicist wrote an article, published in the Wall Street Journal, The latest data from space satellites are unmistakable; the universe will eventually die.  As the universe accelerates, temperatures will plunge throughout the universe.  Billions of years from now, the stars will have exhausted their nuclear fuel, the oceans will freeze, the sky will become totally dark, and the universe will consist of dead neutron stars, black holes and nuclear debris.  It seems as if the iron laws of physics have issued a death warrant.  But there’s still one (hope).  Leave the universe itself.  Do the laws of physics allow for the creation of wormholes connecting our universe to a younger, more hospitable universe?  In 2021, a new space probe will be launched which may be able to prove or disprove these conjectures.  There is no choice.  Can a gateway be built to connect our universe with another?  Either we leave for another universe, or we die in this one.

The Wall Street Journal Online, “Huddled up with LISA” January 20, 2005

He has the right idea . . . leave this universe for another one.  He just doesn’t know how.

He’s right in a way.  Planet earth and the universe around us will not last forever. 

Again, the revelation of God which informs us about the origins of this world informs us about the end of this world.  Peter writes these astonishing words that not only agree with the record of Genesis and Job, but give further revelation about the future,  By the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.  But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men . . . in which the heavens will be destroyed by burning and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But . . .according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:5-13)

You really do want to leave this earth – a gateway has been built from this world to the next.  But it’s a narrow gateway and not many people are willing to stoop to enter it.

Perhaps you have.   Perhaps you will today, by God’s redeeming grace.  And when you come to God, in awe of who He is and what His Son accomplished for you on the cross and through that empty tomb . . . you will surely leave this earth only to one day inherit a new earth and a new universe where we will live with all the believers of all the ages and all the hosts of heaven and with our Creator God forever.

I highly recommend you make plans to leave this world – for the new world which is yet to come.


When God Speaks Comfort

Part Three

“Lord of All the Weather”

Job 38:19-38

In the late 1970’s a book was published that created a phenomenal, somewhat unexpected audience.  In fact, to this day, the following of fans after Harry Potter and Star Wars and Lord of the Rings cannot come close to matching the attention this particular book received. 

Alex Haley was the author of a fictional book entitled, Roots which became a record breaking series on television, watched 130 million people. 

In Haley’s loosely told family history, he begins with the story of Kunta Kinte – who 7 generations earlier was kidnapped in Gambia in 1767 and transported to the Province of Maryland to be sold as a slave.  The novel follows the story of Kunta and succeeding generations.

While doing his research, Alex Haley went to the village of Jufureh, where Kunta Kinte grew up and which is in existence to this day, and listened to a tribal historian tell the story of Kunta’s capture and abduction from home.  Haley also traced the records of the ship, The Lord Ligonier, which he said carried his ancestor to America.

Haley said the most emotional moment of his life was on September 29, 1967, when he stood at the site in Annapolis, Marylandwhere his ancestor had arrived 200 years before.

Roots has been published in 37 languages and Haley won a special Pulitzer prize in 1997.

There are many people – black and white who doubt the historicity of Roots.  In fact, Alex Haley had to settle out of court on charges of plagiarizing another author.  My point is not whether or not everything Haley said was true or original. 

My point is in the response of people – literally around the world. 

When Haley’s book was aired in mini-series format on television, more than 60% of Americans tuned in.

Why the incredible interest?

For starters, Roots emphasized that African Americans have a long history and that not all of that history is lost, as many believed.  But the popularity of this series obviously crossed racial divides – why – it spoke to the human hearts desire and longing to connect with the past.

James Montgomery Boice, Genesis: Volume 1 (Zondervan, 1982), p. 14

One author wrote, “This man’s link to his past gave a sense of meaning to us all.”

Ibid, p. 15

This is really a search for dignity and value, isn’t it?  Our search for roots is ultimately a search for the meaning of life.

R. C. Sproul wrote, “If our past history tells us that we have emerged from the slime, that we are only grown up germs, what difference can it possibly make whether we are black germs or white germs; whether we are free germs or enslaved germs?  Who cares?  We can sing of the dignity of man, but unless that dignity is rooted in that which has intrinsic value, all our songs of human rights and dignity are so much whistling in the dark.  If all you have is the present – with not history – there is no dignity, only nothingness.

Ibid, p. 15

No wonder mankind, regardless of race or nation or creed on every continent asks the same questions . . . “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?” Which is another way of asking, “Do I really matter?”

It’s no surprise then to find out in my research this past week that genealogical studies have literally skyrocketed in the past 30 years.  In fact, I discovered there are on average more than 1,000 hits on web sites – dealing with genealogical resources – listen, around 1,300 hits every minute of every day. 

Tens of millions of people are involved in tracing their own roots to discover where they came from – in an attempt to help discover who they are and where they might be heading.

One of the benefits of the believer is that we have been given the ultimate resource in genealogical studies.  We know the names of our ancestors – beginning with the first ancestor who started the entire family tree – Adam.

Our value is rooted in history, revealed to us by God.  

And what tragic confusion abounds not only about our past but our future when this genealogical resource is discarded.

I recently read the NPR transcript of an interview with singer Mary Chapin Carpenter who came out with a hit song called Grand Central Station.  She said in the interview that she was inspired by an iron worker who had been on the scene when the towers fell on 9/11.  He worked at Ground Zero for days afterward.  The iron worker said that at the end of each shift, he felt compelled to go to the train station so that the souls of the victims could follow him.  Carpenter said, “He’d find himself just going to Grand Central Station and standing on the platform and thinking whoever wanted to go home could catch the train home.”

National Public Radio, Morning Edition, May 6,

This was her inspiration.  How tragic is that?  How hopeless and meaningless is that?

Listen, if our past is disconnected with the revelation of God, then not only is our past meaningless, our future is equally pointless; we’re just souls floating around hoping to land someplace better than this.

God has spoken here.  In fact, He speaks to one of our ancestors named Job, who happened to be wondering about the value of his life.  And He informs Job of his roots . . . in fact, He takes Job on a verbal tour of the origins of the universe . . . this planet . . . and life itself.

Our history has its roots in the hands of God.  Our future has it’s hope in the hands of God.

As God speaks to Job, beginning in Job chapter 38, he continues to reveal His creative mastery over the present conditions of Job’s world – and ours.  He reveals His mastery over the universe by asking Job one unanswerable question after another. 

Look at verse 18.  Have you understood the width of the earth?  In other words, “Job, do you know the measurements of planet earth?”

He didn’t; we do –

  • we have approx. 57 million square miles of land surface;
  • and 139 million square miles of water surface;
  • the equatorial circumference of planet earth is 24,902 miles long.

I had to look that up, trust me; hold your applause.  I was barely interested in physics as a kid . . . phys Ed, yeah!

The point God is making is not that these questions are unanswerable by Job and we can answer some of them.   

No, what God is doing is bringing Job to the rather obvious recognition that not only does he not understand all of God’s creative handiwork, he can’t control what he does understand – he and we cannot control even the weather.

Anybody in here control the rain?  Bring it on!  Don’t hold back.  Our state of North Carolina is experiencing an historic drought, and anxiety levels are increasing as water levels are decreasing.

Can anybody here time the frost or bring us snow on December 24th?    And make sure they melt by the following Monday?

The only person to control the weather by His own power was Christ who walked on top of water and allowed Peter to do the same – although momentarily; Christ then could say to the raging storm, be still and not only did the waves cease their churning, but the raging wind immediately became calm.

What God will do in the remaining verses of chapter 38 is not only reveal His creation of origins and history, but reveal His control over the present conditions of weather.

He will take Job on a verbal tour of a dozen things relative to weather conditions.

And he begins with light and darkness in verse 19 of Job chapter 38.  Where is the way to the dwelling of light?  And darkness, where is its place, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home?

One author wrote, “Perhaps nothing in all of physics is more fascinating or more mysterious than light.  Light is the single most important source of energy and heat on earth.  Without light, life on earth would be impossible for very long.  Virtually all the earthly mechanisms we depend on for the transfer of energy are derived, ultimately, from light.  Wind, the water cycle, and ocean waves would all cease if the earth were to remain in utter darkness for very long.  The earth would quickly turn cold and all life would cease.”

John MacArthur, The Battle for the Beginning (W Publishing, 2001), p. 83

Is it any wonder that the first creative order from God and the starting point of creation was, “And God said, let there be light and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3) 


Now the record of Genesis informs us that the light sources of sun, moon and stars weren’t created until the fourth day.  So, the form of this light as God’s early act of creation is unknown to us.  It might have been some light that emanated from a specific God-ordained place or perhaps the disclosure of His own Shekinah glory.

It shouldn’t be difficult for us to believe that the One whose glory is described as pure light can command light to appear. 

In fact, the Book of Revelation tells us that in heaven there will be no need for the sun to shine because the light will be provided by the revealed glory of God and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:23)

Job, do you know where the light lives and the darkness hides?

By the way, the more we not only discover about light but harness it opens up amazing possibilities.

Light gives us the ability to heat a cup of coffee in the microwave; listen to radio waves; get burned at the beach with ultraviolet rays; get checked out by the doctor through x-rays; get held up at the airport by security x-ray.

We’ve all seen crews laying pipe along the roads through which fiber optic lines will be lain.  Fiber optic material actually moves along tiny pulses of light at literally the speed of light with pinpoint precision.  These pulses are basically rapidly flashing on and off signals, carrying everything from digitized telephone calls to video images.  All of this is possible because of the marvelous properties of light.

MacArthur, p. 82

Your eyeglasses change the direction of light so precisely that you can see images better because of them.


How did this amazing thing called light come to be?

God said in Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light and create darkness.”

Look at a rather futuristic clue in verse 24 – Job would never have imagined – “Where is the way that the light is divided?”

We now know that the different colors of light are simply varying wavelengths of light in the spectrum.

It was Isaac Newton in 1665 how discovered that the prism wasn’t coloring the light, it was simply dividing the light into its varying wavelengths. 

Prisms separate the colors of light because as the light passes through the prism its direction is bent.  Different color waves, moving then at different speeds, come out of the prism separated into a visible display. 

Ibid, 81

In Psalm 74:16, David writes, “You have prepared the light and the sun”. 

In Psalm 65:8, “You make the dawn and the sunset sing for joy.” 

Now, we would normally take this as poetic personification.   The dawn and sunset are visual, not audible.  They are surely not literal music!  Which is interesting in light of scientific discoveries; could God be revealing through David what we have yet to discover?  That light actually sings?

Well, if light and heat and sound are vibrations – wave and particle – the mere existence of color may have a musical harmony we have yet to hear.

Adapted from S. Ridout, The Book of Job (Loizeaux Brothers, 1919), p. 222

But wouldn’t it be fascinating to discover one day and hear it for the first time, this symphony of light.

Job, you have no idea about the elements of light and darkness which I have created, God says.

And neither do we.

God moves on to mention forms of water, varied by weather conditions.

Verse 22.  Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of distress.

God could be referring to one of His plagues in Exodus 9 as He sent the hail to devastate the land of Egypt.  Perhaps a reference to Joshua 10:11 when God protected his people by sending hail upon the invading armies.  Perhaps it’s a reference to the final judgment of God during the tribulation period where, in Revelation 16, John writes, that huge hailstones, about 100 pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (Revelation 16:21) 

The storehouse of snow and hail is surely nothing less than the hand of God.

The creation of water is one of God’s marvelous creations.  Without it we wouldn’t live.  In fact, we wouldn’t exist.


The human body has been called a water machine‚ designed primarily to run on water and minerals. Listen to this: In just the last 10 years medical science has begun to focus more on the healing ability of our body and its dependence on water.  The human body is made up of over 70% water. Our blood is more than 80% water‚ our brain is over 75% water. The function of every cell in our body is controlled by electrical signals sent through our nervous system from the brain. Our nerves‚ in reality‚ are an elaborate system of tiny waterways.

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And that’s just the beginning.

Job, have you ever thought about water – in so many different forms.

How about snow – where cold temperatures turn its molecules into crystals of lovely and varied form.

Why do snowflakes have such intricate beauty and symmetry?  Why don’t they all look alike?

What did Job understand in chapter 28 where he said that God made the weight for the wind and weighed the waters by measure. 

We today have the entire science of water known as hydrology, which studies the occurrence and behavior of water.

We now know that the global weights of air and water must be in critical relationship to each other in order to maintain life on earth.  In fact, if the weights of either air or water were much different than they are, life as we know it could not survive.  Planet earth was uniquely designed for life.

By the way, this passage also informs us that air and wind have weight.  This wasn’t confirmed until nearly 4,000 years after Job wrote these words.  What do you know?

The study of air and its weight has developed into the science of aerodynamics, which became the basis for aerospace developments. 

God asks Job in verse 28 of chapter 38, look there, “Does the rain have a father?  Or who has begotten the drops of dew . . . look back in verse 26.  Who brings rain on a land without people, on a desert without a man in it, to satisfy the waste and desolate land and to make the seeds of grass to sprout?

Job, can you explain how we get rain?

He couldn’t . . . we can’t fully, I learned this week which rather surprised me. 

We know that water is converted by solar energy into the vapor state.  Since water vapor is lighter than air, it rises and then condenses around dust particles and salt particles.  We’re not sure how, but water droplets bind together to form larger and larger drops, which finally become so large that their weight is greater than the wind, causing them to fall to the ground as rain or hail or snow.

Look at what God says to Job in verse 37.  Who can count the clouds by wisdom – in other words, I know the weight of the air and keep it balanced by my wisdom.  Read on, “who tips the water jars of the heavens, when the dust hardens into a mass and the clods stick together.”

God is delivering truth that will take centuries for us to discover.

There’s more mystery however in rain than we can understand.  One scientist asked, “What causes the small droplets to 9join with others and) become large enough to do this?  Some clouds fall – or rain – while others grow dark and heavy but don’t.  Job gives the answer, which only the believer will appreciate in Job 28:26, “God made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder.” 

Henry Morris, The Remarkable Record of Job (Master Books, 2000), p. 38.

In other words, God makes it rain.

Henry Morris writes, “With the right combination of air turbulence and clouds, the complex forces generate an electrical field that produces lightning discharges and these violent electrical currents, in an complex energy exchange we don’t yet fully understand, causes the small water droplets to bind together with others to form larger drops than then become too heavy to remain in the clouds but fall to the thirsty ground.

Ibid, p. 39

God said centuries ago to Job, here in chapter 38 and verse 25, Who has cleft a channel for the flood, or a way for the thunderbolt – literally, the lightning of thunder, to cause it to rain.

Job . . . the order my handiwork uses everything from vapor to lightning to bring rain.

Listen to The Message paraphrase this paragraph:

“Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,
   seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness
   for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
   or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
   for the downpours of rain, and charts
   the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,
   deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands
   so they're carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
   the mother of ice and frost?
You don't for a minute imagine
   these marvels of weather just happen, do you?

The theme of this display was intended to reveal to Job that God not only created everything, He controls everything.  He has established the laws of hydrology which water the earth and make life possible.

This is His doing . . . this is His providence.

David McKenna, the former president of Asbury Theological Seminary recalled in his commentary on Job a television show he watched where a panel of economists were asked a final question – which received an interesting answer.  The question was this, “What is the greatest influence upon world economy?”  The economists responded unanimously, “The weather.”  After all our efforts to manage money and stock markets in order to control the economy, the honest confession is that the weather – a factor completely out of human control – will determine bull markets and bear markets, prosperity and depression, deficits and surpluses.

David McKenna, Mastering the Old Testament: Job (W Publishing, 1986), p. 289

The weather is the marvelous engine created by God which brings both blessing and sorrow, joy and suffering – all of it fulfilling the plan and purposes of God.

Just as we cannot understand the lightning, we cannot understand the hand behind the lightning.

It was not irony that God spoke from a whirlwind and referenced lightning.  It was lightning that killed his flocks and his employees and it was a whirlwind which toppled the house and killed all 10 of Job’s children.

By being given revelation about God’s creation and control of nature, Job was brought to trust and worship the nature of God.

When God speaks it is done.

And our answer is not in what is done but in who it is which speaks.

The leper came to Christ, riddled with this fatal disease and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”  And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing – be cleansed.” (Luke 5:12-13)   The Creator stood before the tomb of Lazarus and cried, “Lazarus, come forth.  And he came back to life.” (John 11:43-44)

John Phillips, Exploring Genesis (Loizeaux Brothers, 1980), p. 40

The Creator of life speaks healing and life and the elements both seen and unseen obey Him.

And on that day – as Christ hung upon that cross – at this final sacrifice, at noon – when the sun was at its hottest and highest point, the sky suddenly grew dark and the light of the sun disappeared as if a curtain had been drawn – the Gospels indicate that the sun was no longer visible.  It seemingly disappeared as the sky grew dark and dangerous.  All nature seemed to hide for three hours as the dreadful judgment against its Creator fell from God the Father.  Then Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  The anguish of God the man, separated in judgment from God the Father.  And all of His creation seemed to agonize with Him as an earthquake shook the planet and rocks literally split open as if ripped apart in pain.  He cried again, “It is finished” and He died.  It’s interesting to me that the skies grew bright again for at His death at 3:00 o’clock the darkness lifted.  The wrath of God was satisfied – it’s as if nature could uncover its head and come out of hiding.  The debt of sin had been paid in full.

Job, can you call out and make it dark . . . or dawn?  Can you command the rain to fall?  Or bring on the snow?

“No – but I the Creator who commanded everything have

everything under my command.”

One more visual demonstration Job . . . notice verse 31.  Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion?  32.  Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites?  33. Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, or fix their rule over the earth?

Look up Job . . . beyond the rain clouds and the lightning.  Look at the stars.  Can you manage and control them?

Some point out that Pleiades is the constellation that belongs to the Spring, as Orion to the Winter.  In other words, God is asking Job, can you change the seasons?  Can you bring on Spring and delay the Winter months?  Do you have that power?

Adapted from Ridout, p. 233

And of course Job would answer, “no.”

While the Bible isn’t a handbook on astronomy, whenever it speaks to the subject, it is without error and with precision.

Consider the fact that the ancients thought the moon was larger than the sun.  Ordinary observation would lead to that conclusion. It’s closer and seems larger.

How did Moses know that the sun was larger than the moon – as he wrote, “The greater light God ordained to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night.”

He didn’t.  But God’s Spirit, breathed His infallible word through Moses and the truth was recorded.

And today, we know that the Sun could gobble up 6 million moons.

And the comparison of the earth and the sun in size?  If the sun was the size of a basketball, the earth would be the size of the head of a pin – planet earth is a speck in comparison.

It’s huge.

But Moses could have erred and referred to the Sun as the greatest or largest object in the sky – which he didn’t.  He said it was the greatest light in direct reference to the earth. 

And now we know much more.  We now know that the star Antares, for example is so large that it could hold 64 million suns.

There is another constellation which includes the star Epsilon which is 27 billion times larger than the sun.

Ibid, p. 41

Teddy Roosevelt used to take guests that visited the White House out on the White House lawn after dark to look up at the stars.  Sometimes he’d even lie down on the grass and invite his guests to do the same.  I would invite you to do the same sometime. Then after some time he’d get up, brush himself off and say, “Well, I believe we are now small enough . . . let’s go on to bed.”

How small are we?


Who are we?  Where did we come from?  Do we matter?

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,

The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;

What is man that You are mindful of him? 

Who are we that you would take thought of us?

Psalm 8:3-4

This One who breathed the stars and planets into being – by the word of His mouth (Psalm 33) . . . this transcendent Lord of the universe condescended to become a human being – robed in flesh, fully man – yet still fully God.  He came to our little blue speck.  And having taken on flesh we will see Him and walk with Him and worship Him and serve Him and reign with Him as His redeemed Bride for He soon have us with Him inhabiting the royal city and ruling with Him the universe.

This is who we are . . . this is where we’ve come from . . . this is how much we matter . . . this is where we are going!


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