Job 40:6–9 “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?”
I just tried to picture talking to God who is speaking to you from within a hurricane (from the Hebrew) or tornado. It would require a powerful, thundering voice; and that is exactly how the voice of the LORD is described in scripture.
Psalms 29:3–5, 7–9 “The 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.”
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 consider the intended message.
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 40:10–14 “Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together, Bind their faces in hidden darkness. Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you.”
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.
God’s righteousness requires that He respond to pride with anger and that He acts to humble the proud, and Job should be able to do the same. 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 in darkness for eternity. Note that this implies the ability to identify destructive pride and wicked actions with the same righteous discernment and judgment exercised by God.
Obviously, Job can meet none of the above requirements. The obvious implication, God can and does act with complete authority and according to His plan and purposes throughout the whole of His creation. The only proper response from Job is to surrender to God’s will as His Creator and LORD and trust in God’s 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 40:15–24 ““Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword. Surely the mountains yield food for him, And all the beasts of the field play there. He lies under the lotus trees, In a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; The willows by the brook surround him. Indeed the river may rage, Yet he is not disturbed; He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, Though he takes it in his eyes, Or one pierces his nose with a snare.”
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. 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 dragon. 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 nature’s 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 don’t 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.