God’s Closing Rebuke And Challenge to Job

A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie and soon was railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money. In his view, wealth was meant to be divided equally. Carnegie asked his secretary for an assessment of everything he owned and at the same time looked up the … More


The big question is - Do I want justice or do I want mercy? God finally gave Job the one thing he wanted most, the opportunity to meet Him in court and defend his case (vv. 1-2). But Job had no case to present. His first words were, “Behold, I am vile!” (vv. 3-4) which means, “I am insignificant and unworthy. I have no right to debate with God.” Is this the same man who said he would maintain his integrity regardless of what happened? Is this the same man who declared he was a righteous man and therefore there must be something wrong with God to let this happen to him. Job had told his friends and others to cover their mouths (Job. 21:5) but now Job had to put his hand over his mouth lest he say something he shouldn’t say (v. 4). He had spoken “once,” he had spoken “twice” but now he would say no more (v. 5). As long as we argue with God, He can’t accomplish His plan through us. Life is not always fair, but God always knows what is best.

The second response of God, as the first, was out of the “whirlwind"(v. 6). His first speech challenged Job’s presumptuous knowledge, while the second challenged Job’s charge that God was unrighteous in His rule of the world. The issue now is not the power of God, but the justice of God (vv. 7-8). Job had said that God was unjust in the way He had treated him, and in the way He failed to judge the wicked. Now God asks Job, “Do you have the strength and holy wrath it takes to judge sinners? If so, then start judging them” (vv. 9-14)! However, before He turned him loose on sinners he must practice on the hippopotamus (vv. 15-24) and the crocodile (Job 41:1-34). If Job succeeded in subduing them, then he would qualify to bring judgment against a sinful world. The hippo is the most powerful and fearless beast of the creation (v. 19).


Throughout his time of suffering, Job longed to have an opportunity to plead his innocence before God. Then when God appeared to Job and gave him that opportunity he decided to remain quiet because God’s actions do not depend on ours. He will do what He knows is best regardless. If I ask for justice and get what I deserve, it will not be good. What I really need is God’s mercy.

Job 40:1-24 (English Standard Version)

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