Devotional for Job 38

Written by Campus Missionary Mary Rowley,

Job 38:4-18

I really appreciate this passage
from Job because it’s a conversation we’d all like to have with God – at least, we think we would. We’d all like to have God tell us the reasons behind the bad things that happen in our lives. We want to know the specifics, the plan, the why. Job has been protesting God’s plan this whole book, essentially saying that he knows better than God, that God’s plan is faulty, or that God doesn’t care.

However, that’s clearly not the case, and I think that’s the question God does answer here. He doesn’t tell Job the specific why – as in, why did God let all these terrible things happen to him. But he does tell Job that there IS a plan and that he DOES care. He does this by describing his divine act of creation. We generally picture creation as a rather quick process – God said let it be, and it was. But there’s more to it than that. God created everything out of absolutely nothing – only his imagination! But he didn’t create it without a plan.

God had, and still has, a plan for each and every one of his creations. In this section of Job, he points out that he plotted out the foundations of the earth before he created it. He knew the specifics, the measurements. He didn’t take the act of creating lightly. He knew exactly what he wanted before he said, “Let it be.” And he did the same with the sea.

After describing the creation of the world, God describes how he still cares for it. He commands the morning – every morning! He tells the dawn when to come, and he tells the waves how far to come. He does not allow the wicked to take that control away from him. He has intimate knowledge of his creation, far more than any human could ever comprehend, because he cares.

The same can be said for our relationship with our Maker. When he created us, it was with clear intention and purpose. He didn’t bring us into the world and then think about it; he knew the plan before we ever existed. And not only does he have a plan for our lives, he is constantly with us to ensure that his plan is carried out. We may try to mess it up along the way, but he is still leading us. He has intimate knowledge of our innermost being, more than we ourselves do, and he will never leave us.

Like Job, we still don’t know our specific “why.” And it’s okay to ask God why, sometimes – what’s not okay is to say that we know better. But although we don’t know why, we do know that God DOES care and he DOES have a plan. As Job eventually does, we should be awed and heartened by this information, and live our lives accordingly.