Job 38: 19-41 CEV – Where is the home of light, and where – Bible Gateway// // //


Job 38:19-41Contemporary English Version (CEV)

(God speaks to Job)

19 Where is the home of light,
and where does darkness live?
20     Can you lead them home?
21 I’m certain you must be able to,
since you were already born
    when I created everything.

22 Have you been to the places
    where I keep snow and hail,
23 until I use them to punish
    and conquer nations?
24 From where does lightning leap,
    or the east wind blow?
25 Who carves out a path
    for thunderstorms?
Who sends torrents of rain
26 on empty deserts
    where no one lives?
27 Rain that changes barren land
    to meadows green with grass.
dew28 Who is the father of the dew
    and of the rain?
29 Who gives birth to the sleet
    and the frost
30 that fall in winter,
when streams and lakes
    freeze solid as a rock?

Can You Arrange Stars?

31 Can you arrange stars in groups
such as Orion
    and the Pleiades?
32 Do you control the stars
or set in place the Big Dipper
    and the Little Dipper?
33 Do you know the laws
    that govern the heavens,
and can you make them rule
    the earth?
34 Can you order the clouds
    to send a downpour,
35 or will lightning flash
    at your command?
36 Did you teach birds to know
that rain or floods
    are on their way?[a]
37 Can you count the clouds
or pour out their water
38     on the dry, lumpy soil?

39 When lions are hungry,
    do you help them hunt?
40 Do you send an animal
    into their den?
41 And when starving young ravens
cry out to me for food,
    do you satisfy their hunger?

This is a continuation of God’s answer to Job, which I began considering in Blog 1416 yesterday. raven

These are familiar aspects of the ecosystem, yet they are also infinitely strange, as the author shows us by his poetry. This is the way the world is; but THAT it is so, is marvellous, as the questions suggest. Even with all our present scientific knowledge, we are still looking for the “home of light”. The questions move Job and his troubles away from the centre of the drama and present the reader with intimate details of the functioning of the world of which human beings are a part-but not the only part. The rain falls in the desert and the young ravens need food. These are presented as acts of a creator who delights in what he has made and is making.

The author is saying that if in response to our experience of the world we imagine a creator, then there’s no point in imagining we could comprehend him/ her/ it. But if we allow our imagination to fix on God’s creative process, as we see it, then our minds can be prompted to transcend our own categories, realisng that God is not “the supreme being”, that is, like other beings in the universe only greater, but rather a presence who addresses us from “beyond” us by means of his/her creation.

That annoying his/her in the last sentence is a useful illustration, for of course the division of humankind into male and female can’t be asserted of God, who is beyond sexual division yet also known through it. “God created human beings in his own likness. Male and female he created them.” The book of Genesis uses the complementary sexuality of humankind to point towards the nature of God.

Here the author’s vivid poetry presents how God sees creation, appreciating the specialness and interrelationships of each item.

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