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Brace yourself

“Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.” — Job 40:7

Children love to ask their fathers “Why?”, but fathers are not always able to answer. God is always able to give an answer, but He does not always choose to. This poses problems for men. Like their own children, men not only expect an answer to every query, they expect the answer to meet their approval.

God’s silence had been unbearable for Job. With no answer to his questioning why and his beseeching please, Job resorted to drawing his own conclusions. Likewise, his friends resorted to their own theories. But both got it wrong. There were flashes of insight, there were elements of truth; yet in the end Job accused God and the friends abused Job.

At last it was time for God to speak. “Brace yourself,” God told Job—and it’s a good thing He warned him! Job’s request for an audience with the Lord had been granted, and it was overpowering. Job was engulfed in a torrent of questions, and God made it clear that Job’s questions, along with his friends’ explanations, had been full of foolishness. God is God—He alone has the power, wisdom, and justice necessary to be God. In response, Job recognized his impudence and put his hand over his mouth in silence. At the end, as at the beginning, silence was the best posture in the presence of almighty God.

Modern man is not always so reticent. Has he not explored the galaxies with telescopes, trod on the moon, and sent his ingenious machines to rove on Mars? Certainly he has!—but only to find that the more he discovers, the more lies undiscovered. His accumulated knowledge serves to demonstrate the depth of his ignorance; his examination of creation’s mechanics simply plunges him further into creation’s mysteries.

Modern man should brace himself for questions about the gaps in his knowledge and the limits of his experience, and then learn humbly to bow himself at God’s feet. Sadly, more often than not, man wants to brag about himself rather than brace himself—to say, “Wow is me!” rather than “Woe is me!”

When the great Creator questions one of His tiny creatures about how much the creature knows or can do in comparison with God, the only appropriate response is to humbly bow in total recognition of one’s own nothingness. As the great wise man Solomon once said, “God is in heaven, and you are only here on earth. So let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

For further study: Job 40:1-14

Content taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.