By Erin Bird
How are you doing? Hanging in there? I am discovering many people are at a similar stage in this pandemic – tired, stressed, and worn out. Some are tired of the boredom. Some are stressed because of the increased work this pandemic has brought. Some are frustrated due to lack of human connection, while some are pulling out their hair from TOO much human contact (primarily little kids clinging to mom!).
I think our new series comes at a perfect time. I want to look at Job 38 with you for a few weeks, because inside of this chapter lie several clues into God’s character that I believe can help you gain some peace and joy in these days.
Last week, I gave an extremely quick overview of the book of Job. If you missed it or need a reminder, head here. (If you’d like to have an even greater understanding of the book of Job, watch this video and/or this video if you didn’t last week.) In my microwaved review of Job, I pointed out that Job 38 is a strange chapter where God basically flexes in front of Job and his “friends.” Some people read Job 38 and don’t find comfort in God’s presence, but rather fear.
However, I want to break down this chapter and help you see that a “fear” of God can actually bring you peace. To help you see it, let’s begin by looking at verses 4-7:
4 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7 ESV)
There is a famous quote (falsely attributed to Mark Twain) that makes me smile:
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
The author humorously points out how time contributes to our understanding of the world. The father in the author’s quote wasn’t ignorant, it was the 14-year-old version of the author that was. But as he aged, he started realizing how wise his father actually was, because his father had so much more life experience than he.
That’s what makes Grandpas and mentors so beloved. They share out of the wisdom they have compiled from their years of life, and it brings understanding and peace to the younger person.
In Job 38:4-7, God shows Job just how “old” he really is. The Heavenly Father says He was there when He “laid the foundation of the earth,” when he “laid its cornerstone,” and heard the “morning stars” sing their songs for the first time ever. And not only was God there before the beginning, He will also be ruling and reigning when time reaches its end.
This means God is eternal. But unlike our dads, grandpas, and mentors, God hasn’t grown in wisdom; He possessed all wisdom at the very beginning. And if you are impressed with your grandpa’s insights, how much more impressed should you be with an eternal God?
Short-term vs Long-Term
You and I so often are focused on the here and now. Our eyes are filled with the problems immediately in front of us, which is why the past month has felt like a decade. Our emotions are flailing in the waters of our minds, barely keeping afloat. So with our attention on the problems of today, we find ourselves frustrated, sad, and lacking peace.
Instead, I want to encourage you to lift your eyes up on to the eternal God. He was there when the stars sang their first song. He was there when the earth’s foundation was set. He was there when Adam and Eve broke the only commandment given them. He was there when the Israelites were in slavery in Egypt for 400 years. He was there through the black plague and the flu of 1917-18. And He is here in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
And guess what? He will still be God when this has passed (whenever that will be).
Because He is eternal, rest in Him. He’s got you. He’s not surprised by this pandemic. And He already sees what is on the other side of it.
So put your trust in Him. Express that trust in prayer. And every time your heart wants to run to worry, stress, frustration, and the such, cry out to the eternal God:
“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)