S (Scripture): Job 39
19 “Do you give the horse its might?
Do you clothe its neck with mane?
20 Do you make it leap like the locust?
Its majestic snorting is terrible.
21 It paws[d] violently, exults mightily;
it goes out to meet the weapons.
22 It laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
it does not turn back from the sword.
23 Upon it rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24 With fierceness and rage it swallows the ground;
it cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25 When the trumpet sounds, it says ‘Aha!’
From a distance it smells the battle,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
O (Observation): The Lord is finally giving voice to this situation of Job’s. The Lord starts in chapter 38 and continues through this chapter, chapter 39. The Lord is asking Job if he knows how all of creation began, and how creation goes on the way it does. His questions are in a cynical tone, knowing that Job cannot answer the questions that the Lord is asking.
The image of the horse going into battle is quite a vivid image. But Job cannot possibly know where the horse gets its might or mane, or how it can laugh at fear. Job does not know how anything in nature works, nor does anyone, except the Lord.
And so, the Lord calls on Job to show reverence to the Lord, for Job’s supposed wisdom is nothing compared to the Lord.
A (Application): Science has allowed us to sort of reverse engineer most of creation. We can see how two things came together to make a new thing, but we cannot re-create it. We can look back and pick things apart, but we lack The Lord’s wisdom to predict the future.
Even in science, mystery remains.
In faith, we have doctrines and theologies, but none completely captures who God is. Our wisdom only extends so far with the written or spoke Word.
So, why is it that we think we are wise enough to understand why bad things happen? Things like breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and type 1 diabetes, to name a few. No one deserves these things. They just receive them.
God doesn’t wish for us to suffer, nor are we meant to control creation. Yet we can be present for one another without accusing each other of being all righteous or all sinful. We can be present with one another in the midst of responses to natural disasters.
We can see life as that which brings ups and downs beyond our wisdom. We can be present. Without words. Without motives, other than simply to be with someone in their time of need.
Stand with. Sit with. Listen to. These are our responses to folks in need.
P (Prayer): Lord, show us signs of your love in the midst of that which baffles us. Amen.