UNDERSTAND and ACKNOWLEDGE the GREATNESS of God: Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me." (Job 38:1-3)
When Job and his friends had said everything they knew with their flawed collective wisdom, God at last had the final word. Job and his “comforters” had repeatedly spoken out of a misguided theology that was based on deduction, intuition, observation, and mere feeling. Although there were some correct conclusions and great declarations about God in the earlier discourses of Job and his friends, they had argued based out of flawed premises. God had to speak, in order to allow revelation to correct and clarify the faulty theological arguments of Job and his friends.
God appeared unexpectedly into the scene in a whirlwind - a symbol of "judgment" (Psalms 50:3-4) - the same phenomenon associated with the taking of Elijah up into heaven (Job 38:1; 2 Kings 2:1, 11). Then, God engaged Job as though he were on trial in a courtroom, asking challenging questions and demanding appropriate responses (Job 38:2–3). Can Job explain the phenomena of God's natural government? If not, how can Job then hope to understand the principles of God’s moral government?
The dominant theme of God’s discourse is that of divine sovereignty - the idea that because He is God, everything that He does is just and right - even though we cannot comprehend them with our limited understanding. This begins historically with creation itself. Turning to Job specifically, God asked where Job was on that momentous occasion (vv. 4–7). Since Job himself did not then exist at that time, Job had nothing to comment. Similarly, Job had nothing to say about the limitation of the seas (vv. 8–11; see Gen. 1:6–10), the ordering of time and seasons (vv. 12–15; see Gen. 1:14–19), and the details of the structure of the cosmos with its perceived layers of compartments (vv. 16–38).
God’s questions were not intended to be answered, but only to be acknowledged that God was great, His works were marvelous, and everything under the heavens that He had created belonged to Him alone. God does not owe us anything, which makes the fact that He gave us everything that He had created even more astounding!
When troubles come in our lives, we need to reflect on the greatness of God instead of questioning the justice of God. When Job questioned God’s justice as it related to his troubles, God answered Job by telling him to notice the power and might with which He created the world, and to observe God’s ability to control every element in this world. God’s power is beyond our understanding. All we need to do is to submit to His divine will and trust God in the midst of the darkness in our lives.
Let us join with Moses and the Israelites in acknowledging the greatness of God: "Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)