Job, Part 3: The Chariot of Fire

Then ADONAI answered Job out of the whirlwind… ‘Now gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you will inform me!'”–Job 38:2-3 TLV

The more I read The Book of Job, the more I’m convinced that it wasn’t meant to explain the problem of suffering. The suffering itself is a decoy–like the fiery chariot that seperated Elijah and Elisha, when Elijah was transported to heaven in a whirlwind (2nd Kings 2:11). The real subject matter is in the whirlwind, for it is the whirlwind that narrows our focus onto God, making no effort to tame Him. The whirlwind is where our souls are calmed and quieted, like King David when he said, “I do not concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me” (Psalm 131 NKJV).

The God of the whirlwind and the burning bush bows to no one. He’s not some indefinable cosmic energy that we can tap into, but He’s not a flat orthodox figure either. He is not an entity that will morph to suit our fancy or a cracked fresco on the ceiling of a Byzantine monastery. “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). He is who He is.

But He is unchangeable, and who can make Him change? Whatever His soul desires, He does.–Job 23:13 TLV

In chapter 28, Job declares that true wisdom, like gold and precious stones, is hidden in the depth far beyond the surface of things; and, by the same token, those who approach The Book of Job with shallow logic and presumption, reasoning away the mysteries of the supernatural, have already missed the point.

Besides, in the words of Oswald Chambers, “The basis of things is not logical, but wild and tragic.” Those who look for logic in a sinful world find confusion. We can drive ourselves crazy trying to figure everything out, but faith will win over logic in the end. We can waste our time trying to outsmart each other (like Job’s three opinionated friends, who were trapped in the futility of their minds–never out of their depth, because they had no depth) or, like Job, we can cry out to God.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.–1st Corinthians 1:25 TLV

Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from The Book of Job is that intellectual vanity dies in one encounter with God–it dies in the whirlwind. If, as it is written, the highest heavens cannot contain God, how much less our dinky mental boxes? Who can stand in His presence and boast or point a finger?