Job 40:1 ¦ Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
Job 40:2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
After reeling off so many questions that reflect His power and sovereignty over creation and manŐs weakness and dependency, YHWH, the self-existent, eternal God, our Creator, basically asks Job how he would correct or rebuke God for His actions.
Frankly, I am surprised that Job could speak at all. I think I would have been a cowering blob of jello. Job admits that he is vile—of no estimation, completely insignificant, totally contemptible. He admits that he has no answer—in fact, he has already said way too much! Though he still did not understand the why of his circumstances, Job now understood that he had no right to question God concerning those circumstances.
Job 40:6 ¦ Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Job 40:9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
I just tried to picture talking to God who is speaking to you from within a storm with a voice like thunder.
Psalms 29:3–5, 7–9 ŇThe voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.Ó
I think it is easy to read through scripture without taking the time to meditate on what the Spirit is revealing to us. The voice of our God is POWERFUL beyond our full comprehension. It is this voice that is talking to Job and to us through the record of scripture. The message from a Being of such omnipotent power and authority should cause us to take the time to pause and carefully consider what He has to say.
The LORD is basically telling Job to stop and think. In light of our discourse to this point, are you still willing to question my actions towards you because of your perceived injustice? Can you interact with the creation with the same power and authority that I exercise? Wisely—Job remains silent.
Job 40:10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Job 40:11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Job 40:12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Job 40:13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
Job 40:14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
The LORD continues driving home His point. He basically tells Job to prove his right to question God. God declares that if Job can present himself as God presents Himself and act with the same authority and power as God acts, he can assume authority over his own life. He should be able to clothe himself with majesty—with the dignity and authority of sovereign power; with splendor—grandeur and excellence; with glory—of great reputation and with distinction deserving of praise and honor; and with beauty—of excellent character marked by grace.
GodŐs righteousness requires that He respond to pride with anger and that He acts to humble the proud. God ensures that the wicked will be totally separated from fellowship in the presence of His light, but will instead be bound together in darkness outside His presence for eternity. Note that this implies the ability to identify destructive pride and wicked actions with righteous discernment and judgment.
Obviously, Job can meet none of the above requirements. The obvious implication, God can and does act with complete authority in righteousness according to His plan and purposes throughout the whole of His creation. The only proper response from Job is to surrender to GodŐs will as His Creator and LORD and trust in GodŐs righteous character and sovereignty regarding his own circumstances.
The LORD begins His closing discourse with Job by drawing his attention to two of the mightiest creatures of His creation—behemoth and leviathan, the latter giving insight regarding the coming antichrist.
Job 40:15 ¦ Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
Job 40:16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
Job 40:17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
Job 40:18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
Job 40:19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
Job 40:20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
Job 40:21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
Job 40:22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
Job 40:23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
Job 40:24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.
Behemoth cannot be identified with certainty, though some translations choose to connect it with the hippopotamus. Personally, I think the LORD intends that Job (and we) focus on its characteristics, though it would seem that Job knew about this creature for this description to be significant to him. This great creature was made in the beginning along with the creation of man. It is not a mythological creature as some conclude. Though he eats only grass, he is very powerful. It seems that he has very powerful hips that find the center of their strength in his powerful stomach muscles. His tail is compared to a cedar tree, which is why I think we are referencing some type of dinosaur. The muscle sinew of his thighs is tightly entwined like a very thick rope. His bones are as strong as bronze and iron. When looking at the Hebrew, it is possible to deduce that this was possibly the first and definitely the most powerful creature made by God among the great beasts of the field. He has no reason to fear man or beast for only his Creator can pose any threat to him. He enjoys the bounty of natureŐs provision for sustenance and enjoys the coolness of the marshlands. He is so powerful that he has no fear of raging floodwaters.
In fact, this description implies that behemoth is no threat to man as long as man does not foolishly attempt to threaten him. I just donŐt think there is a creature in existence today that fittingly corresponds to this description.
As a side note--In my many readings of this section of scripture, this is the first time that I have picked up on the mention of the Jordan River. This would seem to indicate that Job lived somewhere in the area around the Jordan River for this description to be significant to him.