Job 38:16-23 Where Is The Way Where Light Dwelleth?

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Job 38:16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
Job 38:18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
Job 38:19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
Job 38:20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
Job 38:21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Job 38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

Introduction

God wants us to know the truth of who we are and where we are when compared to Him. It would be deceitful and destructive for God to fail to tell us the Truth. Job is us, and as such his inflated opinion of himself stands for the inflated opinion which all of mankind has of itself. Mankind’s inflated ego is symbolized by this phrase which is describing the nature of all who are “in Adam”:

Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

“To make one wise” is the very opposite of revealing to mankind that God is wise. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil typifies the law of Moses with its own righteousness. Here is where this is revealed:

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin [“knowledge of evil”], but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Then we are told this about the righteousness that is in the law:

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

So the law is not sin. It simply tells us what sin is, and thereby strengthens sin. But what is flesh? What is in flesh? Here are the plain Biblical answers to these very simple questions:

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

This is in the same 7th chapter of Romans, which reveals that the law simply tells us what sin is:

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Why am I a “wretched man”? It is because of “sin which is in my members” by virtue of a law which the “one Lawgiver” placed there while I was still being formed “in sin” in His hands.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

The wisdom and the good which comes from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil are separated from “the wisdom [ and] the righteousness which is of God”. That wisdom is in a completely different “tree” with an entirely different root. Both come “out of the ground”, but they are not of the same root. “A tree to be desired to make one wise” stands in stark contrast to the Godly, truthful knowledge that both our wisdom and our righteousness are of God and of God alone.

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

God has mercy or God hardens, and we are nothing more than clay in His hands. As we have pointed out many times, the three temptations mentioned in 1Jn 2:16, are the exact same temptations which beset our original parents, who were also “conceived… in sin” with “sin in [ their] members”. These three sins are within our flesh, and we are told that they account for “all that is in the world”. Notice that they are listed in the very same order in which they are listed here in Genesis three. Let’s take note of this parallel:

Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was (1) good for food, and that it was (2) pleasant to the eyes, and (3) a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Here is that very same order in the New Testament, informing us that these three characteristics of sinful flesh, encompass “all that is in the world”.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, (1) the lust of the flesh, and (2) t he lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

“Good for food” is “the lust of the flesh”. “Pleasant to the eyes” is “the lust of the eyes”, and “a tree to be desired to make one wise” is “the pride of life”, with which we all struggle in our own self- righteousness. But none of these are really our own at all. They are all, in reality, nothing more or less than the “darkness” and the “evil” which God clearly tells us is not ours but His own creation:

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

So God is reasoning with Job because Job is who we are while we are still under the delusion that we are of ourselves somehow good. But God is now showing how untrue that is by revealing Himself to us. Here is a taste of what it means when God exhorts us to come and reason with Him:

Job 38:16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

Mankind has just this year discovered that God has placed abundant bacterial life in the deepest canyon in the world. It is the 6.8 miles deep Marianna Canyon in the Pacific Ocean. While mankind has once again developed the means to observe what God is doing at such depths, the answer still is, no, mere mankind has not “walked in search of the depth”. God’s point is that He is omnipresent, and we aren’t. He has placed His life at such great depths where the pressure is a thousand times what it is at sea level, and we cannot even imagine how it is possible to be omnipresent. Why then, would we presume that He should give an accounting to us of His ways? When God says “Come let us reason together” He is not telling us that He thinks we have something to offer Him. We do not have anything to bring to Him.
Here is what we need to do in His presence:

Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

It is ‘reasonable’ for us to let God do the talking and for us to just listen and learn. It is reasonable to make our requests known only by saying “Not my will, but thine be done”.

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

This is the truth of all flesh, even the flesh of Job, which is nothing more or less than Adam within us:

1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

That is the qualification of God’s elect. King David adds this:

Psa 77:19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

Placing God’s “way… [ His] path, and [ His] footsteps… in the sea” reveals to us the spiritual meaning of the physical sea, with its cold, dark depths. The fact that we are told that God’s the way, His path and His footsteps are there, tells us this:

Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God wants us to know and to acknowledge that it is His hand which leads us even through the deepest, darkest valleys of the sea of our flesh. He wants us to know that He created it, and that it is therefore just an instrument in His hand to accomplish His plan for the salvation of all men, and He wants us to know that the darkness is no different from the light from His perspective:

Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

God wants us to know that He is the one who creates the darkness out of which He forms us and brings us forth. He actually calls that darkness “the lowest parts of the earth”.

Psa 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

As we have already noted in the physical realm, mankind has actually, just in the past few decades, built submarines which are capable of withstanding the tremendous pressures and going down into the deepest underwater valleys. In our inflated vanity we imagine that being capable of observing God somehow makes us His equal, but the truth is no man ever has or ever will “walk in the search of the depth”, and must always be in a protective shell to even look upon that depth.
Here is God’s next question for our consideration, and edification:

Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

Here is the Biblical definition of “the gates of death”:

Psa 9:13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:
Psa 107:17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
Psa 107:18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

The gates of death are associated both with “my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me” and “because of the transgressions, and iniquities of fools”. So the gates of death are any means by which we are caused to face the reality of our own death, both physically and spiritually. Here now is the meaning of “the shadow of death”:

Job 12:22 He uncovereth deep things out of darkness, And bringeth out to light the shadow of death.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 107:10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Psa 107:11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Psa 107:13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Mat 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

So the gates of death and the shadow of death are both types of our darkest, lowest moments in which we prefer death to life, just as Job did.

Job 3:2 And Job spake, and said,
Job 3:3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
Job 3:4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
Job 3:5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

Indeed our day of judgment is a day of darkness, blackness of the day and “the shadow of death”. It is out of this darkness that God “uncovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.”

Job 12:22 He uncovereth deep things out of darkness, And bringeth out to light the shadow of death.

It is only by bringing to light the shadow of death that we can come to the light of life. In other words, it is only by losing our life that we can find life.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

That is just one more spiritual truth which does not compute in the mind of the natural man which we all are, as Job was. So God continues:

Job 38:18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.

At this point in our walk we are still just like Job and actually think that because we can observe some of God’s creation, therefore we are in a position to counsel Him how to better work with His creatures. Mankind has actually built a space station and has put it into an orbit which circles this earth, and because of that we think we can perceive and declare the breadth of the earth. How vain and inflated is our opinion of ourselves.
Here is the truth of how much of God we can truly perceive and declare:

Isa 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Yet we, as Job and as the king of Babylon, think we can condemn our heavenly Father and can conquer Him and sit on His throne.

Isa 14:13 For thou [ you and I] hast said in thine heart [ our own self- righteous heart], I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Isa 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Here in the New Testament we are told that this is the fate of all who are in Adam:

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Being the Creator of both light and darkness, God draws our attention to the fact that we know nothing of where either of these creations originated or what sustains them. Few men indeed consider light or darkness to be part of God’s creation, even though He clearly tells us that these were the first things He created:

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Without these two things we cannot exist, and God wants us to understand and to consider the depth of these most basic Truths.

Job 38:19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
Job 38:20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

Christ is speaking to us through Job, and in His time He answers His own question by telling us who He Himself is:

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Joh 1:9 That [ Christ] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

This was unheard of knowledge in the day in which our Lord walked in flesh and blood. Every person mentioned in the Old Testament speaking with God, thought they were speaking with the Father, when in reality they were all speaking with our Lord and had never so much as seen the form of the Father, nor heard His voice.

Joh 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

No one can have “the light of life” without knowing the Father, and no one can know the Father until Christ reveals the Father to them:

Luk 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1Co 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Truly of ourselves we “know nothing”.

Job 38:21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?

The answer to this question is to be found in Job’s own earlier words:

Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
Job 14:2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

It is also found in these verses of James:

Jas 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

God’s next question is closely associated with “the gates of hell and the shadow of death” about which He has already asked us. Our answer is always the same. We have no idea when or where we will meet the gates of the grave or when and where our worst trials will come upon us. But God does know all these things about us, because he has ‘ordained them before any of them were’:

Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Job 38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

God’s Words are very consistent. Here is what the ‘hail stones the weight of a talent’ do:

Isa 28:14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
Isa 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Isa 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

God calls both the snow and the hail His “treasures… which [ He] has reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war”. What time is this “time of trouble”? What is “the day of battle and war” for which these treasures are reserved? The most prominent “time of trouble” in scripture is this:

Jer 30:4 And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
Jer 30:5 For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
Jer 30:6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

What is the most prominent battle in all of scripture?

Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Zep 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
Zep 1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
Zep 1:16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
Zep 1:17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
Zep 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

Job has made it clear that the destruction of all of his physical possessions was the work of “His wrath against me” (Job 19:11).

Job 14:13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Job 16:9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
Job 19:11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
Job 19:29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.
Job 20:23 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.
Job 20:28 The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
Job 21:20 His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.
Job 36:13 But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.

It is clear from all these scriptures that “the day of judgment… the day of the Lord… the day of His wrath… the great day of the Lord… the time of Jacob’s trouble”, are one and all “the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war” of which God is inquiring of Job, and which through Job He is asking us. This is all for the purpose of making us to know that we are not capable of judging ourselves, much less all of mankind, as He is doing and as He will do, by means of His treasures of snow and hail.

Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

The answer is, No, neither the gates of death nor the shadow of death are in our hands. We do not of ourselves know “the way where light dwells”. These things are, as with all things, being worked after the counsel of God’s own will (Eph 1:11).
Next week, if the Lord wills, we will, with our ‘hands upon our mouths, reason with the Lord’ upon these verses:

Job 38:24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
Job 38:25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
Job 38:26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
Job 38:27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
Job 38:28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
Job 38:29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
Job 38:30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
Job 38:31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

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