Worshipping Our Omnipotent God
“[God] stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them. He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it his cloud. He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke. By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab. By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:7-14)
It’s early morning just after the sunrise, and the trees outside my window look like they have been painted with gold leaf, shimmering in the early morning light. The crystal clear blue sky is allowing the sun to create shadows everywhere on the building–images of branches in gray tones motionless on this calm day with no wind whatsoever. But it is not the sky nor the sun which ultimately paints this lovely picture, but God himself, their Creator. As Job attempts to defend himself against his friends’ accusation that his sin caused all his trouble, he presents them and us with a conundrum that even he is unable to resolve. Job says, “his power who can understand?”
God stretches, covers, rebukes, stills, shatters, makes, and pierces to form his creation. God works his might on the northern hemisphere, full rain clouds, the moon, the seas, mighty Egypt (Rahab), the heavens, and beasts. But these are just verbs and nouns, whereas Job’s speech is poetic and inspired. It is not my desire to simplify that which I cannot understand—God’s power! So, with the help of much wiser theologians, my purpose today is to consider the incomprehensible omnipotence of God. Job had more knowledge and understanding of God than his friends. But even Job realized that his wisdom was limited, having experience and realized a mere fringe of God’s power—”these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him!” (v. 14)
“Job was so far from thinking that he had taken notice of all, or even of the chief and principal, that what he observed were only the extremities, the edges, the borders, and outlines of the ways and works of God in creation and providence; wherefore, if these were so great and marvelous, what must the rest be which were out of the reach of men to point out and describe?…Though their voice is heard everywhere, and shows forth the knowledge of him; even exhibits to view his invisible things, his eternal power and Godhead; yet it is comparatively so faint a light, that men grope as it were in the dark, if haply they might find him, having nothing but the light of nature to guide them.” *
Consider this passage from Proverbs: “I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” (30:2-4) As Christians, we naturally think of the “son” in this passage as Jesus Christ, but Agur denies any such revelatory insight. “I am weary, O God, and worn out. Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.” (Proverbs 30:1-3) In the end, Job also realized the limits of his understanding of God’s power and character. “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:3)
Our greatest strength is in our meekness and humility, worshipping God through our naivete, repenting of our pride in even thinking that we know much of him. Only in Christ can we have more than a glimpse of our Divine Creator, the Lord of Glory, and King of Kings. Let us worship Christ in humility today, knowing that we don’t know much, but receiving greater knowledge of the Son as we adore him.
* John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Job 26:14, https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-26.html