The Voice from the Whirlwind

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Job 38:1-38

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (v. 4)

At long last God addresses Job. Speaking from the whirlwind, God responds to Job’s complaint. But God’s response is strange. It’s all about cosmology and meteorology and hydrology and animal husbandry and ornithology.

“Where were you, Job, when I laid the foundation of the earth? Who was it who marked the boundaries of the sea? Have you commanded the morning to come? Were you around when the primordial waters were fixed in place? Have you journeyed to the underworld or traveled the expanse of the earth? Did you separate light from darkness?

And what about the weather? Do you, Job, know where the snow and hail are stored? Have you knowledge of where lightning comes from or whence the east wind roars? And what of the rain? Have you brought it to the desert? Do you provide water to the wasteland? Is it you who begets the ice and frost and snow? Have you, Job, placed the Pleiades in the sky or fixed Orion in its celestial circuit?”

This onslaught of divine questions points to the wonder and mystery of creation. Clearly Job is out of his league. As Hamlet remarked to Horatio, “There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy.”


God, Maker of heaven and earth, we stand in wonder at the work of your hands.