Job 38 moves from Job and his friends to God getting involved in the discussion. “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind”. No more wondering what God’s plan is – we get it straight from His mouth. God’s chosen to be absent from the discussion to this point, but now gets involved. He doesn’t address Job’s friends, only Job himself. Why? It might be because Job was the center of the controversy and the mis-information that has been tossed about. Or maybe because Job was the only one who had prayed actively crying out to God for answers. In any case, God responds to him.
God calls Job to account for his words and actions. “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge”? Actually all of the characters in this story are guilty of talking about things they really had no clue about – each one of them – Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu – spoke without accurate knowledge. So God comes and tells Job that before He’s going to answer Job’s questions, Job needed to answer these questions from God. The questions God had for Job were simply unanswerable and were meant to show Job that he really had no place to demand answers from God.
God starts his questions regarding the creation. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth”? Obviously Job wasn’t around and God immediately is making it clear that God was ancient in His power, wisdom, and might and Job could never be considered to be on the same level as God. Sometimes we forget this reality and consider ourselves equal or even above God. Big mistake, as we have the same answer to this and all God’s questions in this chapter – we were nowhere to be found when God created the world – nor even for the majority of history. We are a mere tick on the timeline and need to remember that God is God.
God gives a detailed account of His creation through a series of questions that asked how, when, where, what, and why. Job has no answers, even when God calls on him to respond. “Declare, if you know all this”. Job of course had not response and just listened as God recalled the majesty of His creation and plan for mankind. Modern science has worked to attempt and understand many of the questions that God asked Job over the centuries since his days on earth. They’ve made some progress, but still are far short of truly understanding God’s creation. We have filled in small details around the edges, but there is still a vast gap between the knowledge and wisdom of man and that of God.