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Water, Earth, and Sky

by Stephen Davey Scripture Reference: Job 38:4–38

The great value of studying creation is that it gives us greater understanding of and appreciation for our Creator. It reveals His power, providence, and goodness; it humbles us as we grasp our place in His creation; and it rebukes elevated views of ourselves.


God has finally arrived on the scene to speak to Job. And you can imagine that there are a lot of things Job wants to say to God. But what we find instead is that God has a lot to say to Job. In fact, beginning in chapter 38 we find the longest speech delivered by God in all the Bible.

And while Job thinks he is going to pepper God with questions, God begins to ask Job questions—seventy-seven questions in all.

So, instead of answering questions about why bad things happen to good people or why good things happen to bad people, God asks questions—questions that are designed to reveal His power over everything.

Now let’s begin with questions God asks Job about Planet Earth here in chapter 38, verses 4-5:

“[Job,] where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?”

God is using the language of an architect and builder. A building site is surveyed; it is measured for the exact placement of the foundation. God is effectively asking, “Job, did I need you to check my blueprints when I designed the earth?”

Down in verse 18, God asks, “Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?” In other words, “Do you know how big this planet is?”

Now Job didn’t know what we know today about the earth:

  • It has 57 million square miles of land surface.
  • It has 139 million square miles of water surface.
  • And it has a circumference of 24,902 miles.

Now I had to look all that up, so hold your applause. I have to admit, I was never really interested in physics as a kid in school. I was interested in phys-ed, not phys-ics.

God also has a question for Job about the oceans of the world. This lengthy question begins here in verse 8:

“Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it . . . and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther?”(verses 8-11)

God says, “Job, who instituted all the necessary systems to create predictable and profitable high tides and low tides?”

We know today that ocean tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational pull. As the moon orbits the earth, it causes the earth to bulge out on the side facing the moon. And this causes the tides to lower and to rise.

Without the moon, life would not flourish on this planet. Without the moon, the earth’s axis would begin to wobble, the stability of the earth’s climate would be lost, and our ocean tides would reduce dramatically and water would stagnate. The scientific world knows that and has spent billions of dollars trying to figure out how the moon evolved to this point. Well, the record of Genesis chapter 1 tells us that the moon didn’t evolve. God created it on the fourth day.

Beloved, Isaiah the prophet tells us God formed the earth “to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18). We’re living on a designer-made planet—perfectly created for life on earth.

God now moves on to ask Job in verse 12, “Have you commanded the morning, since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?” In other words, “Job, are you in charge of creating a brand-new day? Do you control the movement of the sun in the sky?”

Today we understand how God designed the rotation of the earth to create nighttime and daytime—in just the right amounts. Just imagine how different life would be if the earth rotated at one-third its current speed. One day would be three times longer. How many moms of two-year-olds would be able to survive that?

God isn’t trying to stump Job. He is revealing to Job that He not only created water, earth, and sky but that He also controls water, earth, and sky.

He asks Job:

“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 trouble?” (verses 22-23)

God could be referring here to one of the ten plagues, when He would send hailstones on the land of Egypt (Exodus 9:18-35). Or He could be referring to the judgment during the end-times tribulation, when, as the apostle John writes, “Great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail”(Revelation 16:21).

God is saying, “Job, do you know my plans for the future? Do you know what I have reserved in nature for the future?”

God moves on to talk about rainfall. He says in verse 25 that He created the “thunderbolt [lightning], to bring rain on the land.”

Now understand that God is delivering information to Job that people will not understand for centuries.

One scientist writes:

[We now know that] complex forces generate an electrical field that produces lightning discharges. These violent electrical currents . . . cause the small water droplets to bind together with others to form larger drops. Finally, this remarkable series of events delivers the rain to the thirsty ground.[1]

But God just told Job here in verse 25 that He created the lightning bolt to send the rain.

By the way, it is no coincidence that God is describing for Job His creation and control of storms and lightning. Again, let me remind you, it was lightning—fire from heaven—that killed Job’s sheep and a windstorm that caused the deaths of his children. God is indicating that these tragedies were not accidents of nature; they were guided by the nature of God—for His mysterious purposes.

There’s one more stop along this creation tour. God points Job to the stars and asks him more questions:

Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth [constellations] in their season, or can you guide the Bear [the Big Dipper] with its children?” (verses 31-32)

Some point out that Pleiades is the constellation that belongs to the spring, and Orion to the winter. “Look up Job—look at those constellations. Can you manage them? Can you bring springtime or wintertime?”

Obviously, Job must answer, “No.”

God has not lost control of nature—He is the creator of nature. And this, beloved, points to something deeper. It points to God’s nature, creative power, and control over water, earth, and sky.

Those today who believe we are accidents and the earth is an accident and that we just got lucky enough to live at this place in this solar system, well, they cannot begin to answer the deeper questions like, Where did we come from? Where are we going? And, do we even matter?

Oh, let me tell you, the creator God who spoke the stars and planets into being by the word of His mouth (Psalm 33:6)—our creator God—designed you and planned for you to be alive today. And because of His gift of salvation, you can belong to Him today. You can have your sins forgiven; you can talk to Him and serve Him. And the Bible says one day beyond this life, you can go and live with Him, where you will enjoy a newly created universe.

That is how much you matter to God. And Job is getting the deeper answer here—this is how much he matters to God as well.

[1] Henry M. Morris, The Remarkable Record of Job (Master Books, 1988), 39.

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