Job 38:1-11 (NRSV)
Chapter 38Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: Verse 2"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Verse 3Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
Verse 4"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Verse 5Who determined its measurementssurely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Verse 6On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone Verse 7when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? Verse 8"Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb? Verse 9when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, Verse 10and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, Verse 11and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped'?
The overarching image or theme of this week’s readings is the sea—it’s creation, majesty, power, danger and uncontrollability. Today Job is reminded that God, not us, is the creator of land and sea.
Many years ago I had the remarkable experience of joining my sister Laurel and her husband Jim for five months of their round the world sailing adventure in a 26 foot sail boat. Sailing across the south Atlantic from Capetown to the Bahamas I became acquainted with the sea—ever-changing, awesome, terrifying at times, beautiful and totally beyond our control.
I think spiritually it was important to experience so directly that this world, this life, our very existence is a gift and we are but guests: we are creature, not creator As God reminds Job, “these proud waves” were made by God and remind us who we are and our place in God’s creation. That’s the starting point.
Creator God, keep our relationship with you and your creation clear—and fill us with awe and humility before you. Amen.