Job 38:16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
The book of Job has 42 chapters. The first two chapters give us the overview of the situation that Job would face and why. In those chapters God tells us what kind of a man Job was. From chapters 3-37 We read of a dialogue between four men and Job. It is not a beneficial dialogue. The four men are all attacking Job’s character without any facts. They all claim to know God but their knowledge of God is corrupt. Job responded to their attacks with some true facts about God. However, he also exposed a weakness in his walk with God.
We can all see ourselves in one or more of these five men. Those who are saved would be seen in Job in various aspects. Those who are lost would be seen in the four men who claimed to believe in God, but demonstrated a great lack of knowledge about God and Job.
From chapter 38 to 42 God took over and spoke mostly to Job and had a few words for the other four men. While we want to be careful not to read things into the book that are not there, it seems that the book lays out the general nature of mankind. There is more false teaching in the world than there is truth. There is also a danger that those who know the Lord can be off base in their view of God. The only safeguard we have against getting off base, is if we take God at His Word and build upon the truth. Thus in the last five chapters, God helped Job to correct his wrong thinking and to build upon the truth.
In verse 16 God continued to challenge Job to consider the greatness of Creation. Job had not taken the time, and possibly not even thought much about the things that God was pointing out to him. They are all important points that need to be considered and if done so properly, they will cause us to pause and be in awe of the greatness of God.
Job had never searched the depths of the seas. He did not have access to a submarine or scuba diving equipment or any other means of studying the springs of the sea. Job had been a busy man, but there was so much that he did not know and could not know. However, God knew all about this.
Job also had no way of examining what happens at death. God tells us some important facts about death, but in spite of what some have claimed, no one comes back from the dead to carry on life. Jesus Christ rose from the dead and He spoke to many godly people for a period of 40 days after that. He continued to teach the disciples important truths during those days. The apostle Paul was given some insight into Jesus’ activities between the time of His death and His resurrection. Several writers of the Scriptures were directed by God to speak of what happens after death, both for the saved and the unsaved.
However, no one goes and explores what happens after death and no one can speak of the details of what happens after death, from personal experience. Those who speak accurately about this have taken their facts from the Word of God.
In verse 18 God challenged Job about the vastness of this earth. Had Job measured the earth? If he had, God challenged him to declare what he had discovered. We have more details on this matter than Job had. We have tools that have been used to describe the vastness of this earth to some degree. However, there are bodies of water that are too deep to explore the bottom. Jesus Christ described some aspects of the earth to man. John the apostle, was invited up into heaven to give us some detail regarding what will be happening there at the time of the “rapture” and beyond. However, Job did not have those details.
In verse 19 we see that Job did not know the way where light dwells. Job did not know the place of darkness either. These were all things that we see and experience in life, but we do not know the intricacies of them. Job was being given the opportunity to stop and appreciate so many things that He just had not dwelt on. Had Job known these things, or had he meditated on the greatness of God, he would have had a different response to what he had been facing prior to God addressing him.
God was giving Job the opportunity to stop and worship Him. There is a good lesson for us here as well. When we are in trouble, we do not automatically go to thinking about God and His greatness. We tend to be focussed on our problems. God is showing us that this is not how we should behave. I spoke with a man this week that needed to think about God and His goodness. The man did not want to do so because he was facing some challenges and he wanted to dwell on those challenges instead. When we are troubled, we need to let God draw us closer to Him, if we are saved. Those who are lost do not have that privilege. However, those who are lost can finally listen to God and be saved.
The things that happen to us are always there to help us to consider God and His place in our hearts and lives. There are things we do not appreciate, but God wants us to learn from those times. He also wants us to learn more about Him when things seem to be going quite well. As we build that sweet and necessary relationship with God, He will be able to guide us in every situation we face.
As we read the Psalms, we find that often the Psalmist was facing some real challenges. He cried unto the Lord and by the time the Psalm ends, he was praising God for His goodness and he was resolved to trust more fully in God.
Those who are saved need to learn this. It is an important lesson to learn. As we learn this lesson, we will be more effective in reaching out to the lost. When those who are saved yield more to God, they grow in godly compassion for others. They appreciate the truth more and they learn how to speak the truth to others with more conviction.
The world does not need actors. The world needs to see genuine salvation and genuine Christians. Genuine Christians can have a great impact on others. We see that in the apostle Paul’s life. He did not just speak the truth. He lived the truth. The same was true for the other apostles that we hear about after Jesus’ ascension.
Those who are genuinely saved have great opportunities to grow and serve the Lord. As we walk humbly with Him in the midst of less volatile situations, we can be prepared to walk humbly with Him when things become more chaotic.