19 November 2019

Job 39

‘Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
Do you count the months till they bear?
    Do you know the time they give birth?
They crouch down and bring forth their young;
    their labour pains are ended.
Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
    they leave and do not return.
‘Who let the wild donkey go free?
    Who untied its ropes?
I gave it the wasteland as its home,
    the salt flats as its habitat.
It laughs at the commotion in the town;
    it does not hear a driver’s shout.
It ranges the hills for its pasture
    and searches for any green thing.
‘Will the wild ox consent to serve you?
    Will it stay by your manger at night?
10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?
    Will it till the valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?
    Will you leave your heavy work to it?
12 Can you trust it to haul in your grain
    and bring it to your threshing-floor?
13 ‘The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
    though they cannot compare
    with the wings and feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
    and lets them warm in the sand,
15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,
    that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
    she cares not that her labour was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
    or give her a share of good sense.
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
    she laughs at horse and rider.
19 ‘Do you give the horse its strength
    or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust,
    striking terror with its proud snorting?
21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
    and charges into the fray.
22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
    it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against its side,
    along with the flashing spear and lance.
24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
    it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
25 At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, “Aha!”
    It catches the scent of battle from afar,
    the shout of commanders and the battle cry.
26 ‘Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
    and spread its wings towards the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
    and build its nest on high?
28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
    a rocky crag is its stronghold.
29 From there it looks for food;
    its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones feast on blood,
    and where the slain are, there it is.’

Job has suffered tremendously. He is desperate for an audience with God. He wants answers as to why God has allowed such suffering on him.

When the LORD finally spoke to Job, He asked questions that Job was not able to answer.

For example, we read that God questioned Job about his knowledge of animal behaviour, including the migration instincts of birds. God was asking whether Job was able to or could do anything to sustain God’s Creation. The truth is, Job had neither the understanding nor the ability to.

One of my favourite channels to watch on TV is BBC Earth – a channel that makes my jaw drop every time I am confronted with God’s creative genius. By His design, some birds fly thousands of kilometres every year between the North and South Pole. BBC Earth once documented the life and behaviour of the Arctic Tern, a bird that could travel pole-to-pole twice a year covering around 23 000 kms in the air!! “The Arctic tern is an incredible traveller. Look beyond that jaunty black hat, the lipstick red stockings, and a fame for pooping on tourists visiting their summer residence, and you will recognise an intrepid explorer that spends much of its life chasing the trajectory of our sun”. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160603-mystery-migration-solved

The Bible reminds us that everything in God’s creation was made with a plan and a purpose – and that includes human life. That should be a comfort to us when it seems that everything is flying out of control around us. We are faced with all kinds of trouble from all sides. We don’t know what’s coming at us today, tomorrow, next week, or next year. Although we cannot be sure of what to expect, we can be sure of the character of the Creator who tells us that He has it all under control as we read here in the Book of Job.

Dear Christian, you and I must stop worrying, stop complaining and grumbling. Instead, we must grow to trust God and serve Him, remembering His promise that ultimately everything will turn out exactly how He has ordained it.

PRAYER: Father God, Creator of heaven and earth please forgive us for some times missing how amazing and powerful and great You are when we are in the midst of trouble. Please help us to let go of the control we think we have on our lives. And as we do that, please give us patience as we wait on You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN