“Who shut up the sea . . . when I fixed limits for it and . . . said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?”
The book of Job explores the relationship between humans and God. Job, who is faithful to God, goes through a difficult series of tests. He loses all his children, all his livestock, and his livelihood. He also loses his health. But he never stops trusting God (Job 1-3).
Job’s friends come around, and instead of consoling him, they say he must have done some terrible wrong, or all this trouble would not have happened. But they are mistaken, and their words do more harm than good. Job wonders why all this calamity is happening. And eventually he calls on God to answer him (Job 4-31).
Another friend speaks up and offers wise insights about the all-powerful God, who has created all things. We cannot understand all of God’s ways because God is so different from us. Yet God cares for us, teaches us wisdom, and is righteous and just (Job 32-37).
Then God himself speaks (Job 38-41), asking Job if he knows how the earth was made, who gave the sea its limits, and how the forces of nature work to bring food and water for all living things.
Of course, Job does not know these things—and neither do we know all things. But God is good, and our lives are in his hands. God allows storms and trouble to come our way, and often we are not at fault. But God can also bring us through and heal us. We can trust that in God our future is secure.
Lord and God, Maker of heaven and earth, the universe is full of your glory. Save us, we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.