197 - A Word from God at Last (Job 38:1–3)
Our hope, our assurance, our peace, and our comfort in trying times are all tied to the truth that God is the Creator. Like Job, we can be sure that this omnipotent God who spoke the universe into existence is fully in control of all the circumstances of our lives.
We have come now to chapter 38 of the book of Job, and everything is about to change. Verse 1 says, “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind.”
Now just stop here for a moment. Aren’t those wonderful words? “Then the Lord answered Job!” We’ve been waiting for this moment for thirty-seven chapters. And Job has been waiting for what must have seemed like a lifetime.
Finally, God speaks. And what follows is the longest speech from the Lord recorded in Scripture. God is going to comfort Job, but He is not going to do so as we might have expected. God says to Job in verse 3, “Dress for action like a man.”That is, “Get ready for a tough assignment.”
And that tough assignment is going to be an exam. God says, “I will question you, and you make it known to me” (verse 3). God is about to ask Job question after question in these next few chapters—seventy-seven questions in all.
He will ask Job questions related to topography, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, and zoology. God is going to ask Job about his knowledge of the depth of the ocean, the measurement of the earth, and the design and movements of constellations.
So is God trying to humiliate Job? No. God is going to develop in him greater trust and faith by showing Job His power and sovereignty as displayed in His creative majesty and amazing design of nature.
But think about it. Here sits Job, devastated and diseased. And God finally speaks, but instead of pat answers, God wants him to think about the rain clouds and the stars. What kind of comfort is that going to bring?
Well, this tour of creation, in fact, will bring incredible comfort to Job—just as it will bring you comfort today.
God’s creative power is not some unimportant sentence in a religious creed. Creation is the vital part of Christianity. And if that sounds like an exaggeration, it is only because our world has bowed to the theory of evolution and rejected the biblical account of creation. Even many churches today will agree that the Bible is full of folktales and myths strung together.
The reason the average person today cannot find comfort through God’s creation is because the average person does not believe God created anything. We are all accidents of time and molecules. Beloved, there is little wonder why Satan has launched such fierce attacks on the truth of creation.
By the nineteenth century, there were no less than eighty different theories of origins. Nearly every major world religion has accommodated some form of evolution, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, and animism. It has crept into Islam, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and even evangelical Christianity today.
Let me tell you something, if the Genesis account of creation can be written off as a folktale because it’s just too fantastic to believe, how can we believe anything in the Bible? If the creation account is untrue, Jesus was mistaken when He said in chapter 10 of Mark’s Gospel, “From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6). And the apostle Paul was wrong when he wrote to Timothy, “Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13).
By the way, every passage throughout the Bible that refers to creation—and there are scores of them—refers to it as a finished, completed event, not some ongoing, still-evolving process.
So, if the Bible isn’t telling us the truth about God creating the universe, what other parts of the Bible can you really trust to be true? And let me add to that: Without the truth of creation, not only is the Bible unreliable, but also the gospel is incomplete.
Did you know that when the apostles preached in the first century, Buddhism, with its evolutionary pantheism, had already reached the Mediterranean world? And Stoics and Gnostics, who didn’t believe in a personal God creating the world, were the scholars of their day. They were the university professors.
So, here is the apostle Paul in Acts 14 preaching to these scholars of his day. Listen to what he says to them:
“We bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things [idols] to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.” (Acts 14:15)
How did God make them? The Bible says in Psalm 33:9, “He spoke, and it came to be.” God simply spoke the universe into existence. John Wesley put it this way: “God created the universe and didn’t even half try.” To me, the wonder is not that God miraculously created the universe in six days but that He took six days to do it!
It is no surprise that Satan would attack the Word of God with regard to creation, because without creation, the reliability of Scripture is shattered and our gospel is rendered powerless.
And let me add this: without the truth of God’s power and control over all of creation, the believer is without comfort.
Here is a man who has lost everything. And what will God do for him? He is going to come to him and say, “Job, let me show you what I’ve created. Let me take you on a tour of the created order, from the heavens to the earth to the oceans and to the animals.” God knows that a show-and-tell of creation’s magnificence will help settle the heart of a grieving man.
Do you want to know why a tour of creation is still one of the most comforting things God can give you when you are suffering? Let me put the answer into three final principles for today.
First, if God is powerful enough to create the universe, He is powerful enough to control the universe. Job would have wondered about that fire that fell from heaven and killed his sheep and the shepherds who watched them and about that unexpected whirlwind that toppled a house and took the lives of all his children. What God creates, God can control.
Second, if God is powerful enough to create us, He is powerful enough to direct us. The things that happen in our lives are not accidents; they are appointments designed by God. So, even when God does not explain Himself, we know He is too powerful to slip up and too wise to make a mistake.
Listen to how the psalmist David connects creation to comfort in Psalm 8:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? (verses 3-4).
Wow! Our powerful Creator God cares about us.
Third, if God is powerful enough to create our home on earth, He is powerful enough to create our future home in heaven.
And in the meantime, as God begins to speak comfort to Job, we discover the solution to suffering on earth is not a quick answer, an explanation, or a proposition; it is a Person—our powerful God.
Listen as the apostle Peter writes, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19). Our hope in suffering is bound up in the truth that we can trust God’s Word and we can trust God. Why? Because He is our Creator God.
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