1 "And the Lord said to Job: 2 "Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Anyone who argues with God must respond." 3 Then Job answered the Lord: 4 "See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. 5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but will proceed no further."
A. What is God's tone at the beginning of ch.40? Is God belittling Job? Wooing him? Something different? Notice the language of "contending" in v.2. Job was the first one to use the verb in 9:3, when he wanted a lawsuit with God. Now, it seems, God is fighting back. If you look at this passage as the continuation of the lawsuit between Job and God, how might you interpret God's tone?
B. Job says that he is "of small account" (v.3). Where does that come from? There is no indication that Job thinks of himself as anything other than of very large account in the preceding. What is happening, if anything, to Job?
C. What does it mean that Job lays his hand on his mouth? The phrase is also used in 29:9 to describe the nobles' fear when Job was around. Is this the way you read the phrase here?
C. What is the meaning of v.5? Is Job "dropping out" of the conversation? Submitting? Is there an ambiguity in his response to God at this point?
6 "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: 7 "Gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you declare to me. 8 Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified? 9 Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?"
A. God is now going for higher, or at least different, stakes than he did in 38-39. What is God's concern now?
B. How has Job put God in the wrong in what he has said?
C. God then moves on to talk of the divine power in v. 9. Why is that relevant here?
D. Those in law use the word "characterization" to emphasize the importance of telling your side of the story in the words you chose. Thus, we can look at God's words in v.9 as God's attempt to recharacterize the debate between him and Job. What was Job's characterization of it? What is God's?
10 "Deck yourself with majesty and dignity; clothe yourself with glory and splendor. 11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger, and look on all who are proud, and abase them. 13 Look on all who are proud, and bring them low; tread down the wicked where they stand. 13 Hide them all in the dust together; bind their faces in the world below. 14 Then I will also acknowledge to you that your own right hand can give you victory."
A. The word "proud" appears a few times in this passage. Why does God bring up pride?
B. Is God trying to say that Job is acting in a proud manner or only that Job's power is unable to bring down the proud? If you think that Job has become proud or arrogant in his self-assertion, when does he do that? Or, does Job always maintain his "blameless and upright" character?
C. What is God trying to do in this passage?