“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
This is one of those chapters where God gets a little salty with Job, as one of my daughters would say. Job has spent the past 30 chapters or so complaining about his trials and miseries when he hadn’t done anything wrong. Surely God was supposed to reward him, not punish him, because of his righteousness!
God’s reply to Job is basically along the lines of, so who are you to be telling me, God, what to do? Do you know God’s master plan? Where you there at creation? Did you set the world into motion?
I think about Jesus saying that God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. (Matthew 5:45) I don’t think Job would have liked that reply either, because Job wanted a tangible reward for being good, rather than simply being righteous for God’s sake.
There’s a powerful poem written by an unknown Jew in the Cologne concentration camp during WWII. It is also powerful as a song, sung by Spirit Bound. It goes in part: “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love, even when there’s no one there. And I believe in God, even when he is silent.” That reflects the same truth. God is still God, whether we are experiencing trials or happiness. God is not absent during difficult times, and tragedy does not come because God is displeased with us.
Dear God, let me praise you because you are God and we are not. Let me not presume to tell you what to do or how to run your world. Let me give you all honor and glory, for you made me and all of creation. Thank you for being God. Amen.