Job 25:1-6 (NIV) 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: 2 “Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven. 3 Can his forces be numbered? Upon whom does his light not rise? 4 How then can a man be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? 5 If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes, 6 how much less man, who is but a maggot– a son of man, who is only a worm!”
On verses 1-6: To paraphrase Bildad, “Who are you, Job, to think that you can prove yourself righteous in God’s eyes? No human being is pure before God.”
Bildad is right that on our own merit none of us can prove ourselves righteous before God. As Paul writes in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If you think you can prove to God that you are righteous and holy, at least one of two things is happening: either your estimation of yourself is too big or your estimation of God’s holiness is too small.
But there is good news: when we had no way of meeting God’s righteous requirements on our own, God gave us His Son Jesus Christ to live the life that none of us could live – a life that met all of God’s requirements – and then to die on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. By trusting in Jesus, God forgives us of our sins and imputes (or credits) Jesus’ righteousness to us. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” It is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ covering our sins that we can be righteous before God.
Job 26:1-4 (NIV) 1 Then Job replied: 2 “How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble! 3 What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed! 4 Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
On 26:1-4: Job uses sarcasm to show that he clearly did not appreciate Bildad telling him that he cannot prove himself righteous before God.
In Western culture, sarcasm can pervade the way we talk and joke around. But you need to be careful not to go overboard with sarcasm. If you are constantly sarcastic, your sarcasm could actually be hiding – and at the same time revealing – a deeper problem in your life: possibly a prideful heart and a cynical outlook that steals hope and joy from you and those around you.
Job 26:5-6 (NIV) 5 “The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them. 6 Death is naked before God; Destruction lies uncovered.
On verses 5-6: In other words, God does not just rule over what is alive. God is also sovereign over death, over those who have died, and over the place where the dead go.
Job 26:7-14 (NIV) 7 He spreads out the northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. 8 He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. 9 He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it. 10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness. 11 The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke. 12 By his power he churned up the sea; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces. 13 By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent. 14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
On verses 7-14: Here Job recognizes the awesome power of God in creating this world. For example, Job describes how the earth is suspended over nothing (v7), a fact which scientists and astronomers would not discover until many centuries later. Some scholars believe that in verse 10 Job is describing how the earth is round (for example, the NKJV translation says, “He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness” (v10). This is another fact which scientists and astronomers would not discover until many centuries later. Here we see the Bible is far from outdated; it is ahead of its time!
For Job, the beauty, mystery and intricacy that make up our planet point to the existence of a Creator God. As Job says in verse 14, “how faint the whisper we hear of him” (v14) when we consider His works in creation. Job’s words here remind me of Psalm 19:1-4:
Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV) 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun
Our planet seems way too intricately fine-tuned to have been put together by accident. According to many scholars, for our planet to be life sustaining, so many different factors need to be perfectly in place, including for example:
the perfect distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is just right so as to keep our planet from burning up or freezing over
the perfect distance between the moon and the Earth that regulates the tides
the electromagnetic force that binds protons and electrons
the density of air
the special properties of oxygen that make it just perfect for us to breathe
If any of these was just a fraction greater or less, or if the ratios between them were any greater or less, life on the earth would not be possible. This would lead Roger Penrose, a world renowned physicist and mathematician, to try to calculate the probability of a universe where life happened by chance. Penrose found that the probability that a life-sustaining universe would happen by chance is 1 in 10123! That’s 0.0000… [count 123 zeroes]1% chance that a life-sustaining universe could happen randomly. Penrose would later conclude, “this shows you how precise the creator’s aim must have been.” As Paul Little would say, to expect all these factors to come together perfectly by chance, it is like expecting a tornado to blow through a junkyard and randomly create a perfectly functioning airplane.
The more reasonable conclusion when you consider all the complexity of our universe and how it can sustain life is that something or someone very intelligent designed our planet to make life possible.
It’s no wonder that Psalm 19:1-2 says: 1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship. 2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
Heavenly Father, the next time I see parts of our natural world that just blow me away, may I remember that these are all whispers of Your existence, intelligence, and power. Thank You for making a planet and a universe which, against all odds, is able to sustain life so that we can live here. May we take good care of what You have given us and never take it for granted. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!