14 "Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God. 15 Do you know how God lays his command upon them, and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine? 16 Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect, 17 you whose garments are hot when the earth is still because of the south wind? 18 Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a molten mirror? 19 Teach us what we shall say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of darkness. 20 Should he be told that I want to speak? Did anyone ever wish to be swallowed up? 21 Now, no one can look on the light when it is bright in the skies, when the wind has passed and cleared them. 22 Out of the north comes golden splendor; around God is awesome majesty. 23 The Almighty--we cannot find him; he is great in power and justice, and abundant righteousness he will not violate. 24 Therefore mortals fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit."
A. Elihu speaks in the same manner that God will speak in ch.38. Why do you think the author has Elihu raise questions that are similar to the ones God raises? What do you think now about Elihu's claim that he is "perfect in knowledge?"
B. Elihu asks about five questions. What is the gist of them?
C. Why is Elihu so preoccupied with celestial phenomena?
D. V.19 arrests my attention--"we cannot draw up our case because of darkness." Job has been spending most of the book drawing up what he feels is an airtight case. What might be the meaning of what Elihu is trying to say?
E. To what can you liken God's coming and appearance?
F. Is the last verse a sort of warning to Job about what to expect? Does Elihu regard Job as "wise in his own conceit?" Has Job turned arrogant as the book as proceeded or is he still an upright and righteous man, in your judgment?
1 " Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: 2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. 4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements--surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? 8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?-- 9 when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, 10 and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, 11 and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped'?"
A. What is your first impression of God when God appears in ch.38? How does that compare with your impression of God from Job 1? Are you able to separate your general doctrine of God from your perception of how God is portrayed here and in Job 1--that is, can you look at God's portrayal in Job 38 independently of what you might otherwise believe about God?
B. How would you characterize God's address to Job in vv.2-3? What emotions seem to be motivating God at this point? Are his opening words to Job "fair" or do you believe that anything God does is "fair"?
C. Does God's approach in 3-11 (and indeed throughout 38-41) seem to confirm Job's worst fears about how God might speak to him which he articulated in chs.9 and 13?
D. What kind of questions does God pose to Job?
E. Some commentators have interpreted God's seemingly testy questions and opening remarks to Job as an indication that the Almighty doesn't want to be concerned with the little things of life. What is your reaction to this?
F. When God says "surely you know" (v.5) in the middle of the interrogation, in what tone is this spoken?
G. There really is a majesty and grandeur to the language of vv. 8-11. What image do you get in your mind as you read these verses?
H. Is this the kind of response you would have expected that God would give?