"Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?"Job 26:14(NASB)
Job is a book that lays out the incredible sufferings of a man who trusts God but cannot understand why he is having to go through so many hardships and calamities. The book is presented through an ongoing series of interactions between the suffering of Job, and his so-called 'friends', or 'comforters'. These men do little to befriend the miserable man, and the only solace they offer is to falsely accuse him of sinning against God.
Job's companions may have some appreciation of the greatness of God, as reflected in certain things they say, but they show little awareness of God's character. They believe a perverted doctrine that tarnishes God's goodness and they lack understanding of the spiritual battle raging in heavenly places.
Satan had accused the wealthy Job of trusting the Lord from selfish motives, and challenged God to prove him wrong. Job complained bitterly of his unprecedented misfortune, bereavements, and illnesses Satan inflicted on him, but proved the enemy's accusation to be false. Despite being ignorant of the facts, Job never cursed God for the disasters that struck him, but held to his integrity. Through all his trials, he maintained an unwavering faith in His heavenly Lord. However, Job's continued, proud insistence of his innocence proved to be as a character flaw, which needed to be addressed!
Chapter 26 is an extended response to Bildad, who was a man with a strong religious bias. Bildad adhered to past traditions, human logic, and religious rationality. He held fast to the voice of human reasoning and delighted in philosophical platitudes and pious proverbs. He incorrectly believed that someone experiencing trials must be due to their sin - but that doctrine blasphemes God's holy character
Bildad was a 'religious' man - a legalistic man, who could eloquently pontificate about God's heavenly dominion, and accurately proclaim the veneration He commands from humanity. While boasting a head-knowledge of God, this prideful man lacked a heart of humility and understanding.
While Bildad and his accomplices failed to prove their argument about Job's wickedness, Job also failed to solve his problem, by answering the question - WHY ME? What have I done to deserve this trouble?
As he responds to Bildad's comments, in the previous chapter, Job begins Chapter 27 with a lengthy monologue which lays the foundation for the Lord to reveal Himself to Job, in a personal and intimate way. Job eventually experiences the Lord in a new and wonderful way - and the story concludes with him confessing his own lack of humility before the Lord.
As he starts his soliloquy, Job continues Bildad's discourse on the greatness of God and His sovereign power with an explosion of thoughts, "The Lord stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing," Job wrote. "He wraps up the waters in His clouds, but they do not burst under them. He obscures the face of the full moon and spreads His cloud over it. He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters, which is at the boundary of light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble and are amazed at the Lord's rebuke. He quieted the sea with His power, and by His understanding, He shatters the proud. By His breath, the heavens are cleared and by His hand, He has pierced the fleeing serpent. Behold, these are the fringes of His ways and how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder - who can understand?"
Everything Job identifies in this initial outburst of God's majesty and power, accounts for many truths that have only recently been discovered by modern science, or continue to be areas of scientific study that remain a mystery in the minds of eminent professors and research scientists. Theories abound connected with the functioning of the earth, the mysteries of the moon, God's control over the raging waters, and the outer reaches of known knowledge... and the proud, satanic serpent who was defeated at Calvary's Cross.
There are MANY secret things that belong to the Lord our God... the depths of which can never be reached by man's mortal mind or careful calculations. There are universal laws that remain baffling to the highest intellects and realms of wisdom that cannot be purchased at any price.
There are elements of scholarship that will always remain impervious to the probing of academic man, and patterns of nature that can never be justified in the mind of mortals or replicated by mans' ingenuity. We are simply to behold such wonders of creation and recognise them to be nothing more than being on the fringes of His ways, for the depth of God's understanding are past finding out.
We will never understand the mind of God AND YET... He sent JESUS to reveal Himself to us in the most amazing way. We may not understand the things WE have to go through - the problems and pain, the trials and tribulations. BUT GOD remains in control and He has His finger on the very pulse of our lives - therefore we should trust Him in everything, even when we do not understand.
Heavenly Father, what a great and glorious God You are. Thank You for the magnificence of Your creation and truths You have unfolded to our understanding through Your Word. But Lord, as I read through the book of Job and other testimonies of Your greatness, I realise how great You are and how insignificant we are - and yet, in Your goodness and grace, You sent Jesus to give us a greater understanding of Who you are and all that You have done. Thank You for Your amazing plan of redemption and for loving me enough to send Jesus to be my Redeemer and Friend. To Him be all praise and glory forever and ever, AMEN.