Correct Me? (1–5)
Job wished he could summon the Lord into the courtroom, but the Lord summoned Job instead. Although the Lord answered Job, it turned out to be an answer that consisted mostly of questions. Through the use of questions, the Lord had Job consider the stars, the clouds, the waters, the land, the wild creatures, the funny ostrich, the warhorse and the eagle.
It’s as if God was asking Job: “Are you God? Did you create these? Because if you are God, then I’ll resign and hand over the running of the universe to you. But you’re not, are you? So what makes you think you could run it better than Me?”
The core question in the Book of Job was whether or not the cosmos is properly run, whether or not the God in charge deserves to be in charge.
With devastating directness, God concluded His first speech to Job with a direct challenge. “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?’’
The Lord accused Job of charging Him with wrongdoing. He had slandered God’s holy character, and he must be held accountable for his sin. “Let him who argues with God give an answer.”
God had presented His case and now called on Job to present his case. Would Job actually correct God? Would he charge God with injustice?
Job undoubtedly regretted his day in court before the Lord.
He recognized he was unworthy compared to God’s glory manifested in His rule over creation. He admitted he, a creature, was unable to correct the Creator. Job realized he was inferior to God in knowledge and power.
He confessed his sin and withdrew his complaint. He covered his mouth and acknowledged he had nothing else to say.
Question My Justice? (6–9)
The Lord answered Job from the whirlwind and challenged him to “answer me like a man.” Job found himself on the defensive while God was acting as the prosecuting attorney. Soon after Satan struck Job, he demanded answers from God. Now God turned the tables on Job and demanded answers from him.
“Would you really challenge My justice? Would you declare Me guilty to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s?” Job had to learn that only God’s strong arm can rule, rescue and restore.
Can you thunder with a voice like his? Could Job speak with the sovereign authority of God and direct the universe? He could not.
Save Yourself? (10–14)
Job has questioned God’s justice; God challenged Job to assume His role as God. God challenged him to do the job of the judge of all the earth, to bring low the proud and to tread down the wicked.
In verse 10, God told Job to adorn himself with majesty, splendor, honor and glory. These are attributes of infinite superiority that belong to God alone. If Job was going to talk as if he could rule better than God, then he should look the part.
In verses 11–13, we see one key question exemplified: Was Job qualified for the task of executing justice in the universe? Job had been looking for proof of God’s justice.
If Job could execute perfect justice, if he could do everything that God was supposedly neglecting, then He would confess to Job that he could save himself with no need for God.
If Job could not do these things, then he needed to humble himself and trust in God for his salvation.
By Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D.
Robertson is Associate Professor of Christian Studies at the University of Mobile