|Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?|
God continues his speechGod speaks to Job
v1 Then God said to Job, v2 ‘Are you arguing with me? Then, show me that I am wrong. If you accuse God, then you must answer God.’
v3 Job answered God, v4 ‘I am not important. I cannot answer you. Now, I will say nothing. v5 I did accuse you. But I cannot answer you. I spoke, but now I will be silent.’
Job spoke to his friends as if he knew everything. He had thought carefully about his troubles. So he was confident that his speeches were right. And he was sure that he was wise.
But then God spoke. And Job’s ideas did not seem important. God’s words were wonderful. And God’s deeds were much greater than anything that a man could do.
A man must not accuse God
v6 Then God spoke to Job. The storm hid God. God said:
v7 Prepare yourself as a man! I have a test for you. And you must answer me.
v8 Do not claim that I am unfair! Do not accuse me to argue that you are innocent.
v9 You are not as strong as I am. And your voice is not as powerful as mine. v10 If you were like me:
· You would deserve to be great, like a king.
· You would deserve honour.
· You would be really important.
· v11 You would be angry with evil men.
· v12 You would punish proud people. And you would make them humble.
A great animal
· You would kill wicked men.
· All these evil people would die together. v13 And you would bury them.
v14 If you were so great, then I, God, would give you honour. And you, Job, would be able to save yourself.
In his speeches, Job spoke as if he were wiser than God. Job even made a list of things that God should do. Job could not explain why God was not doing such things.
God pointed out Job’s main error.
Job imagined that God was unfair.
Job said that he himself was right, rather than God.
So Elihu’s opinion about Job was correct (Job 32:2).
These verses describe Job’s test (verse 7). The purpose of the test was to prove that God was greater than Job. And the purpose was to prove that God was wiser than Job.
Firstly, God reminded Job about God’s great power.
Then God reminded Job about God’s importance (verse 10).
Then God gave a list of how Job would like God to act (verses 11-13). God can do such things.
Job clearly failed his test. Nobody is as great as God.
A great animal
v15 The hippo is a great animal. I created the hippo. And I created you. The hippo eats grass like other animals. v16 But its body is so strong. Its muscles are so powerful. v17 Its tail is like a tree. Its legs have firm muscles. v18 Its bones seem as strong as metal. Its legs seem as strong as iron.
v19 The hippo is the greatest of my works. But I, God, made the hippo. And I can kill it.
v20 There is food for the hippo in the hills. And the other wild animals play there. v21 But the hippo lies down under the bushes. The hippo hides between the reeds, in the mud. (Reeds are plants that grow in mud.) v22 The hippo hides in the shade of the bushes. And it rests between the trees that grow near the river.
v23 The hippo is not afraid when the river floods. Even if the river Jordan rises as high as its mouth, the hippo is safe. v24 You cannot catch a hippo. Your traps will fail. You cannot put a ring on a hippo’s nose.
In fact, Bible students are not sure about the animal in this passage. In the original language (called Hebrew), the animal’s name simply means ‘a great animal’. But the hippo behaves as God describes. It is a large animal that lives near the river.
The hippo shows us that some strong animals have a calm and confident character. Such animals do not normally fight. They enjoy the food that God provides. They like to rest and to watch the other animals.
Perhaps people can learn from the hippo’s character. If we have troubles, we do not need to argue with God. God will always win, anyway (verse 19). But instead, we can trust God when we have troubles. Even a flood does not upset a hippo. And our troubles do not need to upset us.