Now onto today’s passage. Today’s passage is Job 40:1-24. Let’s go!
Job 40:3-5 (NIV) 3 Then Job answered the LORD: 4 “I am unworthy–how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer– twice, but I will say no more.”
On verses 1-14: Before Job wanted nothing else but to confront God with his arguments and prove God wrong. However, after hearing God speak, Job realizes how unworthy he is to even approach God (v3-5). To paraphrase the Lord’s next words in verse 6-14, “Job, who do you think you are? On what basis do you think you have any ability or standing to condemn me and justify yourself? If you think you are so powerful and wise, then try doing what I do, reigning in perfect majesty and splendour while at the same time dealing justly with the wicked. If you’re able to do that, then I’ll admit to you that you are as great as God and qualified to accuse Me.”
What can we learn from this? We are wholly unqualified to accuse God. We have not even the remotest concept of how to be God or the remotest ability to do God’s job, so who are we to criticize Him? The next time you think you know better than God, the next time you think you have the right to accuse, criticize or condemn Him, think again. We’re not anywhere near worthy or qualified to do so.
Job 40:15 (NIV) 15 “Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
On verses 15-24: Two questions arise from these verses. First, what animal is this “behemoth” God is talking about? Second, why is God talking so much about this animal?
On the first question, the behemoth is described in verses 15-24 as a large, powerful, plant-eating land animal that also spends its time in water. Various scholars have speculated the behemoth to be a hippopotamus, a rhino, an elephant, even a dinosaur. The Bible Knowledge Commentary gives several reasons why the hippo is a leading candidate as the behemoth.
On the second question, God is pointing Job to the greatness of the behemoth ultimately because it’s His way of pointing to His own greatness. For even though the behemoth is “first among the works of God” (possibly meaning the largest of land animals), God can still “approach him with his sword” (v19). It’s as if God is saying to Job, “As great as the behemoth is, and as great as you think you are, remember that I created you both. You both belong to Me, and you’re both no match for me. You’re mine and I own you.” As God would say in verse 15, “Look at the behemoth which I made along with you” and later in Job 41:11, “Everything under heaven belongs to me.”
What can we learn from this? There is no creature that can compare with the Creator. Since God is so much greater than us, we are in no place to judge or accuse our Creator. As Paul would later write, “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20-21) So whenever you have questions or issues with the way God does things, always remember Who created whom.
Heavenly Father, thank You for using this passage to put Job, and us, in our place. Thank You for reminding us that we Your creation have no right to judge or accuse our Creator, for everything under heaven belongs to You. Thank You that even though You could choose to do whatever You wish with us, You care for us and treat with incredible love, mercy and compassion. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!