Job 38:39 – 39:12
The Book of Job is heavy with dialogue.
Unlike most books of the Bible which are written in a more narrative form, Job is really largely a conversation. A conversation between people and a conversation between a person and God.
The actual events occur mainly at the very beginning and the very end.
Job is interesting as it tells a small story about one man who is tested by God. Most of the books named after a person in the Bible connect to historical events in the life of Israel, but not Job. His is a self-contained story about a man coming to terms with the power of God. In the midst of incredible suffering Job is not offered comfort but is instead challenged with questions. Questions that point to the difference between his limits and God’s greatness:
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
Do you count the months till they bear?
Do you know the time they give birth?”
Was this meant to help Job? To show Job his limits, his lack of power and knowledge – was this God’s best strategy?
And the answer is yes. The point of the book of Job is that God is other; He is holy and we are not. If the only understanding of life, its suffering, other people, creation, the future is the one that we humans can come up with – then we are all pretty much in trouble. I mean, humans cannot even agree on global warming. But in the book of Job God challenges one man to believe that God’s perspective is beyond the human perspective. To believe that He knows the bigger, final picture even to the smallest detail of when the doe will give birth to her fawn.
That is one man’s hope. That is our comfort.