last five chapters of the Old Testament book of Job provide an excellent illustration.
answer to Job's question of why he was going through all that hardship, is God's four chapter lecture on the wonders of nature,
with a few comments.
God does not employ some kind of theological
lecture, or scripture! Nature gives sufficient answer.
Job38: Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3Gird up now thy loins
like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations
of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5Who hath laid the measures thereof,
if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6Whereupon are the foundations thereof
fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7When the morning stars sang together, and all
the sons of God shouted for joy?
8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as
if it had issued out of the womb?
9When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness
a swaddlingband for it,
10And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
12Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
13That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
14It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
15And from the wicked
their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
16Hast thou entered into the springs
of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
17Have the gates of death
been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
19Where is the way where
light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
20That thou shouldest take it
to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
29Out of whose womb came the ice?
and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
30The waters are hid as with a stone, and
the face of the deep is frozen.
31Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades,
or loose the bands of Orion?
32Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou
guide Arcturus with his sons?
33Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion
thereof in the earth?
34Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance
of waters may cover thee?
35Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here
36Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
37Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
38When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
40When they couch in their
dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
41Who provideth for the raven his food? when his
young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
Job 39: Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock
bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
2Canst thou number the months
that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?
3They bow themselves,
they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.
4Their young ones
are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.
sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?
I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.
7He scorneth the multitude
of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
8The range of the mountains
is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
9Will the unicorn be willing
to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in
the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11Wilt thou trust him, because
his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12Wilt thou believe him,
that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
13Gavest thou the goodly
wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
14Which leaveth her
eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
15And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or
that the wild beast may break them.
16She is hardened against her young ones, as though
they were not her's: her labour is in vain without fear;
17Because God hath deprived
her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
18What time she lifteth
up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
19Hast thou given the horse
strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
20Canst thou make him afraid as
a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.
21He paweth in the valley, and
rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.
22He mocketh at fear,
and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.
23The quiver rattleth
against him, the glittering spear and the shield.
24He swalloweth the ground with
fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?
the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
28She dwelleth and abideth
on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
29From thence she seeketh
the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
30Her young ones also suck up blood: and where
the slain are, there is she.
Job40: Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Job answered the LORD, and said,
4Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will
lay mine hand upon my mouth.
5Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but
I will proceed no further.
6Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
10Deck thyself now with majesty
and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
11Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath:
and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
12Look on every one that is proud, and bring
him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
13Hide them in the dust together; and bind
their faces in secret.
14Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save
15Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
16Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
18His bones are
as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
19He is the chief of the ways of
God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
20Surely the mountains
bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
21He lieth under the
shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
22The shady trees cover him with
their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
23Behold, he drinketh up a river, and
hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
24He taketh it with his eyes:
his nose pierceth through snares.
41: Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
2Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?
4Will he make a covenant
with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?
5Wilt thou play with him as
with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?
6Shall the companions make a banquet of him?
shall they part him among the merchants?
7Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or
his head with fish spears?
8Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.
9Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?
10None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?
hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.
will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion.
13Who can discover the
face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle?
14Who can open the doors
of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.
15His scales are his pride, shut up together
as with a close seal.
16One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
17They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.
his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.
20Out of his nostrils goeth smoke,
as out of a seething pot or caldron.
21His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth
out of his mouth.
22In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.
23The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved.
24His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.
25When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.
26The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.
27He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood.
28The arrow cannot make him
flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble.
29Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth
at the shaking of a spear.
30Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon
31He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.
32He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary.
earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
34He beholdeth all high things: he is
a king over all the children of pride.
Job 42: Then Job answered the LORD,
2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought
can be withholden from thee.
3Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have
I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
4Hear, I beseech
thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
5I have heard of thee
by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent
in dust and ashes.
7And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD
said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me
the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
8Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks
and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for
you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right,
like my servant Job.
9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite
went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
10And the LORD
turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
11Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance
before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD
had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
12So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six
thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
13He had also
seven sons and three daughters.
14And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and
the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
15And in all the land
were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
16After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.