Job 39

Job 39 Devotional
by Pastor David Groendyk

God continues his speech to Job. Whereas the first half of God’s speech emphasized God’s power in creating the entire universe, from the constellations to the deepest trenches in the ocean, this second half of his speech focuses on his governing of every different kind of creature. The emphasis now is on God’s breadth of knowledge and design rather than his sheer might.

Do you know how many different species of creatures there are in the world? After a quick Google search, the BBC tells me that there are apparently some 8.7 million species of living things in the entire world. And apparently only something like 1.2 million of them have been formally described. In Job 38:40–39:30, God describes only 10 different animals and the odd eccentricities they have. Topics range from how animals hunt and get their food to when they give birth and how long their gestation periods are to why the ostrich tramples its young accidentally to how impossible it is to tame the wild ox. God’s Creation is not just glorious and majestic in its sheer size and magnitude, but it’s glorious and majestic in its variety, beauty, and mystery. Humanity will be studying those 8.7 million species for the rest of time, and I feel confident in saying that we will never understand them all. God alone has full knowledge, sees everything taking place, has given each creature their own eccentricities, has individually shaped the way each animal behaves, and has done it all in full wisdom. God alone can answer the why, when, what, where, and who of how the entirety of the universe functions.

If it’s impossible for us to know and master God’s creatures like this, then who are we to judge God? That will be God’s conclusion in Job 40:1–2. Who is Job to contend with this God? Isn’t he amazing and wonderful in all that he does? Isn’t his creativity and design diverse and perfect? Who are we to contend with him? Who are we to find fault in him? We have so little understanding of how this natural world works, so how could we even think about understanding or accusing or condemning the supernatural God and the way he works? Surely, there is something much, much greater going on in God’s mind than we can comprehend. It will take us all of eternity to begin understanding how and why God has done the things he’s done, and we will glorify and worship God all the more fully because of it. For now, let us learn to see God’s utter greatness in his Creation, and let us learn to see through the things of this world to the glory and majesty of its Creator.