07/09/17 Insignificance and Silence

READING: Job 38-40, Acts 16:1-21

“I am so insignificant. How can I answer You?”

Job 40:4

Finally, God spoke. Job had suffered severely, and multiple chapters have revealed the ongoing conversations between Job and his friends. Now, God stepped back into the story verbally, and He questioned Job from a whirlwind. In particular, God essentially reminded Job through a series of question that He alone was God, beginning with these words: “Where were you when I established the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? What supports its foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7). What God had done, and was currently doing, was far beyond Job’s comprehension.

Job learned through these questions that he was in no place to accuse God of wrong or to question His doings. Job, though he was a “blameless and upright man” who “feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1), was not God. In fact, all he could do was be quiet in response to God’s questions: “I am so insignificant. How can I answer You? I place my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4). He had always had a response to his friends, and he had often spoken of how he would answer himself before God (e.g., Job 10:2, 13:22, 31:37). In his actual response to God, though, Job could only admit his insignificance and realize the foolishness of trying to defend himself. He who had told his friends to put their hands over their mouths (Job 21:5) now did the same before a holy God.   

Scholars debate whether Job had yet reached full repentance for arguing with God, yet he had certainly moved in the right direction. God is unquestionably big enough to handle our criticisms and questions when we face difficulties of life – but recognizing and admitting our feeble ability to understand His ways are often best first steps.


  • If you are facing a life struggle today, realize that you cannot understand God’s ways – and that He is not obligated to explain them to you.
  • Take time today simply to sit before God and be quiet. Meditate on His majesty.

PRAYER: “God, I cannot comprehend Your greatness or Your ways. Help me simply to trust You.” 

TOMORROW’S READING:  Job 41-42, Acts 16:22-40