Daily D – Job 38:1
Job 38:1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 38:1.
Thunder rumbled low as it approached a week or so ago. It came a couple of hours before dawn. Having heard the forecast and having been assured the storms would move mildly and quickly through the area, I took comfort in the deep notes reverberating in the distance and the dance of the rain upon roof and window.
Not all storms are so kind. People have died. Homes have been destroyed. Family businesses have been shattered by storms in the last month.
Go back to Job 1. In verse 16, a messenger comes to Job and says, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
Skip down to verses 18 and 19:
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
Let us forgive Job for any anxiety accompanying the approach of the storm and the unmistakable voice of God. Like Mary at the arrival of Gabriel in the Christmas story, no doubt Job wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Elijah ran for his life in a storm. Jonah slept peacefully in a storm until he and the ship’s crew figured out he was its cause leading to him getting tossed overboard. The disciples were caught in a storm they thought would capsize their boat and drown them while Jesus napped with all serenity.
There is something about a storm that arrests attention. You have storm stories and so do I. Job’s storm memories delivered a gut punch. The pain of loss and the dread of what could lie ahead came together in a moment of ultimate clarity when God spoke.
An aside: Many people say they want to hear God speak. Perhaps they should interview, or at least read, those who have heard him.
The voice of God overwhelms. (See Exodus 19.) The voice of God commands attention. (See John 18.) The voice of God leaves us without doubt regarding his nature and character.
In the movie, The Prince of Egypt, God appears to Moses in a burning bush. You can find this story in Exodus 3 and 4. Val Kilmer was the actor who gave voice to Moses. He was also the voice of God.
A friend of mine has a degree in brain science from Harvard. She’s pretty smart. She also has a deep and abiding walk with God. We were discussing the idea of hearing God earlier this week. She says in one of her teaching videos, “I couldn’t hear God because I didn’t know my own voice.”
When I asked her to tell me more about that she said, “One of my biggest breakthroughs about knowing my own voice was my friend who said that the voice of God to you is the voice of God through you.”
As we read the remaining chapters of Job, notice how the voice of God confronting Job from a storm is also the voice of God calming and speaking peace to Job. (See Job 42:7 and following.) Likewise, it is the voice of God through Job to forgive and reconcile old friends.
I would prefer to hear God in peace and calm rather than in the storm. Sometimes, however, a storm is what is required. What is God saying to us in this COVID storm? What other storms rage in your world? Listen for the voice of the One who speaks from storms and who also speaks to calm them, and us.
I will learn to hear God and to clearly differentiate my voice from his.
Our Father, give me ears to hear what you are saying to me in this moment, in this season. Give me a willing and obedient heart to do whatever you say. You know better, you see farther, you always want for me what is highest and best. I trust you more than I trust myself. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.