The Fear of the LORD
Title: The Fear of the LORD
Reading for June 12: Job 38-39
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.”
Job asked a lot of questions. He wanted answers. Why am I suffering? What have I done to deserve this? Why won’t God answer me?
But the book of Job is not so much about how to answer those questions about suffering (though it does answer those questions in part) as it is about how to fear God, even through our unanswered questions about suffering. The fear of God is a central part of the discussion between Job and his friends (Job 4:6; 6:14; 13:11-16; 15:4; 22:4; 23:14-17; etc.). We know Job fears God, not merely because of what is said about Job’s integrity in the first two chapters (1:1, 8; 2:3), but primarily because of how he responds to suffering.
The devil himself asks the central question of the book, “Does Job fear God for no reason?” (1:9) The devil argued that Job only feared God because of the blessings God gave him. But the devil was wrong.
But isn’t God rebuking Job in the two chapters for today’s reading? Yes. But consider Job’s response to this rebuke in the very next chapter: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:4-5)
This is why the book of Job rightly falls within the wisdom literature category. This is true wisdom. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7).
Job feared the LORD.
Father, teach us to fear you as Job did in adversity.