Lent Devotional: Job 40

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 40 (click here)
Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his? (Job 40:8-9 ESV)

Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword! (Job 40:15-19)

Job has been so frustrated with his “friends” as they have judged him by only looking at his external circumstances… unable to see the purity of his heart. Yet, has Job not done the same thing with God? He (and we) judges God based on what he can see, not recognizing that there may be much hidden from his view. Ultimately, Job thinks he could do a better Job running the world than God.

So… God asks Job many questions designed to show Job just how powerless he is to “run the world.” He directs his attention to the creature Behemoth… an extremely powerful animal that Job dare not attempt to attack. Yet, God says that he made this creature just as surely as he made Job and, as creator, he has all power over it… he can “bring near his sword.”

The point is fairly simple… the most powerful creatures Job has seen are nothing before the all-powerful God. Perhaps Job cannot see exactly how God is working his power amidst his suffering, but that doesn’t mean he is not!

God works his power for his people, even amidst suffering. There is nothing in this world, not even Behemoth, more powerful than God! So, we can rest in the truth that he is in control and trustworthy. Just like Job’s friends could not see the purity of his heart, we often cannot see the goodness of God due to external circumstances, but that doesn’t mean his goodness is gone… just hidden from view.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.