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The Lord Answered Out of the Storm
Scripture: Job 38:1-7; Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation ...
Track 8 of 11 in the Job: Endure to the End series
Running time: 55 minutes, 46 seconds.
From the beginning of the book till the 38 chapter, throughout all the struggles Job encountered, God remained silent and distant. We are never told how long a time period all these events took place but for Job, the suffering lasted forever. When God finally broke the silence, He bolted forth, out of the whirlwind.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

God Answered Out of the Storm

It is amazing how God connects with us. It is so simple to say that statement in the casual way I said it and too often most Christians act the same way. Coming off of the lesson from last week, we ended by discussing just how large and awesome a God we have. He is not like us nor does He think the way we do. In fact, our thoughts should never been considered at all when considering what He would do. There is no comparison. And yet, the Creator of the universe desires and wants a close personal relationship with each one of us. To me, that is a mind boggling fat that is hard to comprehend.

God connects with us in unusual ways. That too is a simple statement to say but we all know from experience that when God does connect with us, often times it is in the most unexpected way. As children we were probably taught that God comes in a message that is calm and peaceful much like the experience Samuel had when he first encountered God. God called out to Samuel in a whisper when he was a young boy. Elijah experienced the same thing when he heard God’s voice as a whisper on Mt. Horeb. You might have been told that his message will be predictable. But we all know that is not true.

God doesn’t always tiptoe into our world making His presence known in a gentle manner. The prophet Nahum tells us it’s sometimes “in a whirlwind and storm”. When God gave Moses the Law on Mt. Sinai, He didn’t do it quietly. God chose to cover the mountain in a thick cloud with flashes of lighting and rolls of thunder. The people who watched it were stricken with fear and awe. Elijah and Ezekiel both experienced the same things with their encounters. There are several examples of this found in the Bible.

I don’t know about you but sometimes my life is too loud and hectic to hear the quiet and soft voice from God. These situations in life make me too insensitive to hear him sometimes so he has to step things up a bit. How many of us can testify that our lives began to change because of some reproof that came through an enormously significant encounter with God? What whirlwind experience have you encountered?

This is exactly what happened to Job. From the beginning of the book till the 38 chapter, throughout all the struggles Job encountered, God remained silent and distant. We are never told how long a time period all these events took place but for Job, the suffering seemed to lasted forever. When God finally broke the silence, He bolted forth, “out of the whirlwind”.

Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:

Finally, after all the prayers and suffering Job went through, God finally speaks. Job waited so long to hear His voice and now God finally answers. But once God does break the silence, He delivers two messages to Job. His first message is delivered in Job 38:1-40:5. His second message begins at Job 40:6.

If you were Job and God did finally speaking to you again, what do you think would be the first words out of your mouth? What would you want to know and what would you have to say?

What is surprising to me is, it wasn’t what God said, it was what he didn’t say. In all that God did say to Job, He doesn’t give Job any answers. He only delivers to Job questions. In addition, God doesn’t apologize for being silent so long, nor does He offer a hint of information concerning the whole thing between He and Satan. God didn’t even acknowledge that Job had been through deep struggles. When He finally did speak, He opens up with a message of reproof. I don’t know about you, if I were Job I feel I at least should get some acknowledgment for holding firm in my defense of my character. But that is not where God starts. In fact, he starts with getting Job’s heart right. Now, all along in this story, I thought Job did have the right heart but God saw something else.

What can happen to someone who over a long period of time has to defend their character that is under attack, defend their integrity that is being trashed or is being accused daily for doing something wrong when they are innocent? What kind of attitude can surface that is not healthy?

According to God, Job has gotten a bit independent and arrogant. One has a tendency to get that way when having to defend oneself too long. When you stand against the attacks of others for a long period of time, you tend to get a little cocky. God is going to communicate a number of things to Job but the number one job right now is to get Job’s heart right before Him. God knows how to do that. We will see that God will give Job an oral exam. He asks Job 77 questions within his two speeches. He opens up the exam with this question:

Job 38:2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?

Whenever I read these two speeches from God, I always like to imagine someone like Bill Mare or Senator Al Franken taking the test rather than Job. But this test is not just for Job, it is for all of us. This long weekend, sit down and take the test and see if you can answer the questions or even begin to understand how to answer. I don’t think this first question was meant to be cruel. I believe it was meant to stop Job where he was and to rethink his situation.

Job 38:3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

Make no mistake here, the singular pronouns used clarify that God is not talking to Job’s friends; He is directly talking to Job alone. There is no doubt Job’s friends needed to hear what God asked, but God’s attention from the very beginning was always on Job. The first set of questions revolve around the query, Can you answer or control My creation?

Job 38:4-7 Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who “marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

All of the questions God asks Job really have no answers or explanations that man can give other than, God alone! From a lesson series we did a number of years ago, the morning stars mentioned here are probably angels that witnessed the creation. Morning star is a term used for angels in other parts of scripture.

Isaiah 14:12-15 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

I don’t know if you remember what I taught but the name Lucifer is not a Biblical name. In fact it is the name given when the planet Venus rises in the east. Venus is known as the morning star and is most often seen early in the morning just before sunrise. Its ascent is called the Lucifer. Venus fits the description of what is read in Isaiah 14; how Satan sought to make himself like the Most High. But notice the difference between the morning star in Isaiah 14 and the Morning Star in Revelation 22.

Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

God gave Job questions dealing with the sea, the sun and more questions of the universe and its properties:

Job 38:31-33 “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth? “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?

I think it is neat when we can look into our telescopes and see all the things God talks about. The constellations mentioned here are ones we can easily see today. Orion is the constellation that contains the star Betelgeuse that we talked about last week. The Pleiades (7 sisters) sits close by to Orion. Pleiades is often mistaken by many as the Little Dipper. Even the Big and Little Dipper are mentioned in this passage. God calls them out by their real names, Big Bear and Little Bear (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor). The enormity of it all makes us feel incredibly insignificant.

After last week’s lesson, Evan asked me a question that made me really think; when we look at the atom, it is built with a center core much like a galaxy. There is the neutron with protons all around. Galaxies are pretty much the same; one central star with thousands of smaller stars around it. What if our galaxy is nothing but a small atom in the grand scheme of a much larger object? That thought alone was way more complex than anything I could imagine. It is especially enormous because the One who could answer every question is talking to Job. When we think about God on that level, how foolish is it of man to think we have anything to say at all to God that he would want to hear?

God also will take Job into the animal kingdom and ask him questions that really man can’t answer. Man thinks today that he has the answers to many of the deep questions about the animal kingdom when in reality he only has his observations, not really the answers to why things are the way they are.

Job 39:26-30 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread his wings toward the south? Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high? He dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is his stronghold. From there he seeks out his food; his eyes detect it from afar. His young ones feast on blood, and where the slain are, there is he.”

Here is what is strange about this whole speech; what in the world does a trip into outer space or a visit to the zoo have to do with comforting Job with those boils all over his skin? All God needed to do was go zap and he could heal all his soars immediately. How many times did Jesus do this to people he had compassion on who were not as righteous as Job? Yet, God didn’t do that. Why did God need to spend all this time talking about his creation with a man who for solid weeks heard nothing but his friends lecture him about all that he must have done wrong?

In your humble reasoning, why do you think God did this?

God tried to help Job gain a new perspective. He showed Job all the awesome things that Job has no control over, however, God does. God wanted to amaze Job with all the complexity and intricacy of everything he created so Job would understand that there is nothing God can’t handle and that every little detail I existence is seen and controlled by God. Nothing happens without God knowing about it and God controlling it. God helps Job to get beyond his immediate world of hurt and all his so-called friends and sets his heart up for a whole new understanding, the understanding of the ways of God and not of men.

There is no question that Job gets it.

Job 40:3-5 Then Job answered the LORD: I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”

These verses tell us a lot about Job and how he understood God’s speech. He responds three ways:

Response of humility – I am not worthy
Response of relief – He can’t reply
Response of surrender – He won’t question again.

That really is all God wanted to hear and this was an important change in Job’s life. Without realizing it, through all the suffering he went through, Job had turned into an independent, determined, self assured apologist defending himself. Without saying so, he thought he had his arms around the providence of God. He was so wrong and God changed that in him

What about today?

Job response makes me wonder about our 21st century world. There are some needed messages our generation needs to hear from Job:

1. If God’s ways are higher than mine, then whatever He allows I bow before him in submission. Submission to the Father is the mark of true humility. A person is not humble if he doesn’t submit. Humility is not an idea or a feeling, it is an action. How unusual to find humility among the competent, the highly intelligent, the successful.

2. If God is in control, then however He directs my steps, I follow in obedience.

Relax everyone, for once you are not in charge

How would life be different if we really practiced the statement on the screen? Is there pressure when you are in charge of something? Is there relief when someone else is given the responsibility and you can relax and enjoy the moment? How many of you feel the pressure that you have to be in charge?

This is the sign that God stretches out in front of Job. You are not in charge of anything, Job. This is my responsibility. You’re my servant, I’m your master. I know what I am doing, you don’t and you can’t.

3. If God has answers, I lack, then whenever He speaks, I listen in silence. In the process of listening, we learn. Learning requires us to slow down, patiently wait for God to work, staying ready to listen as He instructs us in His ways.

Job learned and realized what a lightweight he really was in contrast to God. Too often man thinks of himself higher than he is and in reality, man is really nothing at all. All our wisdom combined really has no power or weight at all. In reality, we are just like a gas or vapor quickly getting absorbed into the vast ocean of the universe. The sooner we speak, poof we are gone.