After Job and his friends had argued at length about the reason for the calamities that befallen Job, God spoke to finally set the record straight. As God began speaking He directed His attention to Job and asked him a pointed question. In Job 38:4 God said, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.”
This simple question drew Job and his friends back to the basics. While they had argued long and hard about Job’s condition and God’s attitudes toward mankind, they had lost sight of the most important aspect of all. They were not God. They had done nothing to create or to sustain the world about which they had so forcefully spoken. Neither did they no much about God Himself.
God’s discourse over the next few chapters put them all in mind of who He was and is, and what He had done to create and sustain the world in which they lived. When the Lord finished speaking, Job confessed, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of course can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:2-3).
Job’s confession demonstrated the personal character about which God bragged to Satan at the beginning of this book (Job 1:8). Job, in this simple fashion, acknowledged the awesome power and majesty of Almighty God. He declared that God, alone, is great and that the musings of himself and his friends were weak and pitiful in comparison.
This incident calls to mind the proud declarations of unbelievers today who seem to go out of their way to discount or call into question the power of God. In places of natural beauty, such as the Grand Canyon or the lonely buttes of Monument Valley, AZ, they speak glibly about the lengthy processes of wind and rain erosion which created these marvels. If one raises the prospect of God’s hand in making such things, the response is regrettably negative.
So also for the stars in the heavens and the wonders of human life. The unbelievers argue forcefully and arrogantly about “Mother Nature” and the “fact” of human evolution. They browbeat those who attribute these things to the hand of Almighty God. And one wonders if God the Father, looking down on us, isn’t saying, “Where were you?”, when He did them all.
King David wrote, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” (Psa. 14:1). The leaders of the Jews attributed the signs of our Lord Jesus to the power of Beelzebul (Mt. 12:24). Sadly, there are still such people around us today. One cannot deny the power and work of God and be pleasing to Him. One may not believe in the hereafter, but God’s word declares its reality.