In chapters 38 and 39, God has been teaching Job by leading him through what I would call a “mental tour” of His creation. Some of the stops on this tour included nature (seas, winds, and weather), the stars, and the animal kingdom. Some of the highlights on the tour touched on God’s ability to control nature and care for the wild animals in His kingdom (all of which is beyond the ability of man).
This “mental tour” where God demonstrated His grand ability to create and care for everything that was in existence was God’s response to Job’s demands for God to explain the suffering that he was experiencing. Despite the wondrous display of God’s ability and special care for all of His creation… God never directly answers Job’s questions and demands. The lessons that God desires to teach are far bigger than the details of the current situation. Part of the lesson is the relationship between God and creation… especially man.
Man …you and I… often get absorbed in our own little world and lose sight of the bigger pictures around us. There is so much happening around us that doesn’t directly affect us. However, just because it doesn’t affect us does not mean that it doesn’t affect other children of God that are just as important to Him as we are. I know… we all want to think that we are God’s favorite child, right? God not only cares for His other children, as He has demonstrated in the last couple of chapters… He cares for each of the creatures in the wild also.
Here in the first verses of chapter 40, God pauses the teaching to offer Job an opportunity to speak. Having been critical of God in the past, Job is given the opportunity to critique God’s statements from the last two chapters…
(Job 40:1-5) 1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said: 2 “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.” 3 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 4 “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth. 5 Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”
Spurgeon comments: “Job said, ‘Behold, I am vile.’ That word ‘behold’ implies that he was astonished. The discovery was unexpected. There are special times with the Lord’s people, when they learn by experience that they are vile.”
Job has spent much time speaking (in the previous chapters). However, only after standing before God’s teaching is Job able to recognize that his own words had been vile. The Hebrew word translated to vile means “of no weight”. Jobs words (spoken in previous chapters) carried no weight; were empty, of no true value. In essence, we could say that Job had been babbling …on and on… without producing words with any substance.
Sometimes we just need to stop, put our hand over our mouth and stop babbling vile (of no weight) words. Instead, we need to listen to God’s correction. We all need the correction on a regular basis. We always need that daily correction that keeps us on the path that God has ordained for each of our lives. However, sometimes we need a major correction that comes after a lengthy period of ignoring God’s guidance in our lives. The major correction may only affect one aspect of our life that we have shielded from God’s instruction, but affects our life in a greater way.
The world is filled with vile words today. There is a great void of Godly influence in the world today. That is… unless you seek it out. Seek Godly words of substance in your life. Make it a part of your daily routine. Allow it to be an uplifting, encouraging, and steadying force in your life. Allot time daily for God to speak directly to you.
If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. (Proverbs 30:32)
May you place your hand over your mouth and allow God to fill you with the treasure of His divine lessons.