Job 38:1-7 “Where Wast Thou When I Laid The Foundations of The Earth?”

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Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 38:2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Job 38:5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Job 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Introduction

Through Elihu, God has revealed to us that the judgment which is now on the house of God is being administered by His cloud of witnesses. By his clouds He has made us to know Him and His word. What He does with men, He does through His elect, whom He characterizes as His clouds:

Job 37:11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:
Job 37:12 And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.
Job 37:13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.
Hos 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

The New Testament witnesses to this principle by which God speaks to mankind:

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

But just before our Lord was apprehended to be crucified, He gave us this revelation:

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

So the Truth is that even though He works “by the ministry of the prophets” and “by the church”, it is still, in the final analysis, our heavenly Father who must first drag us to himself:

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [ Greek, drag] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Job has be dragged to God, and God is now about to reveal Himself to us as Job:

Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 38:2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

Elihu has just told Job:

Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?
Job 37:19 Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness.

So Elihu has prepared us to receive the rebukes of God Himself. Here we are hearing from God Himself, and the first thing God does is to confirm Elihu’s words.
“Without knowledge” is the very definition, from a Biblical point of view, of the word ‘darkness’. We think we know God before we are truly introduced to Him via the trials of which this book of Job is a figure. It is in this state of thinking we know God when in reality we do not, that we “darken counsel by words without knowledge”.
It seems it would be impossible to admit to being confused and still be so certain of our own righteousness, but that is exactly what we all do. Here are Job’s own words which demonstrate this marred condition within us:

Job 10:15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge” are God’s words for us. He asks us this even while we are still thinking like Job. Here are Job’s own words which demonstrate how we presumptuously think, even after admitting to being “full of confusion”, and before we even begin to truly know God:

Job 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
Job 23:4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
Job 23:5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
Job 23:6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
Job 23:7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

Job, as the figure of who we are, was so certain of his own righteousness, that he truly believed that if he could only “come even to his seat [ His throne]”, then he would boldly talk with and “dispute with” God. We really are “full of confusion”! How presumptuous of us to think that we could convince God that God was judging us wrongly and that “He would put strength in me” to continue to “reprove, and contend with, and condemn Him”. In Job’s estimation of God, he could “dispute with [ God]” and show God that there is a better way; Job’s way, the figure of our way. How different is the reality! How unworthy we are to even be in God’s presence is the reality of coming before Him as a carnal- minded man. The presence of God is the death of our old man. God’s presence within us is beginning of the death of our self- righteous, carnal- minded old man. Job now has to give an accounting of why he would ever think that the great God would do “wrong” to anyone. Job, the figure of whom we are, is now in the presence of the God who heard all these words proceed out of the mouth and from the heart of Job.

Job 19:6 Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
Job 19:7 Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
Job 19:8 He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.

When we question His work in our lives, we are accusing God of doing wrong and not being just in His dealing with us. “I cry out of wrong… but there is no judgment”, demonstrates how we have ‘condemned God to make ourselves righteous’. Here we are finally made aware that we are in His very presence, where we have really been all along. But now He is revealing Himself to us, and in doing that, our old man is dying daily and is being crucified with our Lord.
Now we know what King David finally came to know:

Psa 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Psa 139:3 Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, And art acquainted with all my ways.
Psa 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, But, lo, O Jehovah, thou knowest it altogether.
Psa 139:5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, And laid thy hand upon me.
Psa 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain unto it. (ASV)

When God’s rebukes begin, we only start to understand the extent of the sovereignty of God. King David continues:

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

King David continues:

Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.
Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall overwhelm me, And the light about me shall be night;
Psa 139:12 Even the darkness hideth not from thee, But the night shineth as the day: The darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
Psa 139:13 For thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb.
Psa 139:14 I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.
Psa 139:15 My frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

But God has placed it within those with whom He is working to accept His sovereignty. So we, as Job in type, acknowledge that even our trials are all His loving, chastening hand in our lives for our good.

Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
Psa 107:28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

While still in Babylon we thought we knew at least something about God, but when we finally do come to begin to know Him we now begin to realize just how little we ever really knew of Him and His ways. Only then do we begin to sense just how infinite our Lord is and how much we still must learn of Him.
Only then can we begin to hear His words to us:

Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

If we had pre- existed as spiritual bodies before being made “out of the dust of the ground”, then Job could easily have said, ‘Why, I was right there with you, Lord. I was your son who shouted for joy when you laid the foundations of the world’. But of course Job was not there at all, so he must “lay [ his] hand on [ his] mouth”. We have been taken out of the “dust of the ground” by our Maker, so God can and does call us “… earth, earth, earth…” (Jer 22:29). The point being that you and I were not even there when Christ laid the foundations for our lives. As we saw earlier, He specifically tells us that He had all our days written in His book before any of our days were:

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)
Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

So we simply were not first spiritual and then natural, and that point is specified and made super clear in this scripture:

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

If a body “formed… of the dust of the ground” has life “breathed into [ it]”, what then is that person? Here, according to God Himself is what we are. According to God, we are nothing more than beasts of the dust of the earth:

Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

That is what we “are”. We are not spirit, we are flesh. We “are dust of the ground”. So that is how our Maker addresses us.

Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

But the natural comes first “and afterward that which is spiritual”. We are not yet “immortal”, we are still merely “the dust of the ground”, and without a resurrection from among the dead, we will perish.

1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

At the resurrection we will “put on immortality”, but immortality is not innate to any beast in whose nostrils is the breath of life. If we are already immortal souls, then we would not need to “put on immortality, and it could not be said that only Christ, besides His Father, “hath immortality”. But this is what we are plainly told, and it is qualified by telling us that we have no preeminence above a beast.

Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Ecc 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
Ecc 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

We have no preeminence above a beast, and yet we think we can “dispute with [ God]”.

Job 23:7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

We all come to rue the day when we have had such presumptuous inward thoughts against our loving heavenly Father.
God asks us to consider who it was that decided just how large this earth should be? What holds the earth in its place? Who made this earth? Who made whom???
The point God is making is that Job and you and I were nowhere to be found when God “laid the foundations of the earth”, and created us, and He continues driving that point home:

Job 38:5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Job 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

These questions are being asked of us by our God to draw our attention to who made whom? In doing that we are forced to take notice of the absolute miracles we live with every day and which we take for granted on a daily basis. We observe the miraculous order of our Creator’s universe and His sovereign working in our life and in the lives of all of His creation on this planet, but because it is so common to see the sun rise and to see a baby born, we take these everyday miracles for granted. “Whereupon are the foundations [ of this planet earth] fastened? Who laid the cornerstone [ of this planet earth]?” Who created whom out of the dust of the ground?

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“The morning stars… and the sons of God” in this instance refers to the principalities and powers of the heavens which were created on the fourth and fifth days, and which are typified by the stars on day four and the fowls of heaven on day five, both of which we are told are figures of angelic spirits. Both the stars on day four and the fowls of heaven on day five were created on the two days preceding Adam’s creation on the sixth day, along with all the other beasts. Being created on the sixth day forever associates carnal man and all beasts with the number six.

Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man [ Greek, anthropos – mankind]; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

“All that in them is” certainly would include all the spirit “hosts of heaven”, who we are told are “the morning stars… and all the sons of God” who “shouted for joy” when God laid the cornerstone upon which He created mankind. But where in scripture is the spirit realm referred to as “sons of God”? The angelic spirits are called “the sons of God” inasmuch as God is called “the Father of spirits”.

Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

The stars, the figures of the angelic hosts, were created on the fourth day:

Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The physical earth is merely the foundation for the spiritual earth, mankind, for whom God created the physical earth, and out of which He formed mankind on day six as the crown of His temporal physical creation. Notice how the scriptures use heavenly bodies as types of His creation:

Gen 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
Gen 37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

The stars symbolized Joseph’s brothers, the sun symbolized his father, and the moon symbolized Joseph’s mother, and mothers are the Biblical symbol of the church of God, which church is also called the mother and brothers, sisters, and the body and the wife of Christ.

Mat 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
Mat 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
Mat 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
Mat 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Luk 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun [ Christ, Mal 4:2], and in the moon [ His church “the woman who brings forth the manchild”, Gen 37:10 and Rev 12:5], and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations [ the trials of Job], with perplexity [ confusion, Job 10:15]; the sea and the waves roaring; [ Bringing us to our wits’ end, Psa 107:27].
Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

We are told in Rev 12 that it is a woman who brings forth the manchild who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron:

Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

This is, of course, the same promise given to the overcomers within the church “which is His body” (Col 1:24). Obviously the “manchild” and “he that overcometh” in “the church which is His body” are one and the same:

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations:
Rev 2:27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father:
Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The physical stars which God has “set… in the firmament of the heaven” are the figures of the doctrinal spirits which occupy the heavens of our hearts and minds. Luk 21:25 is the perfect spiritual description of God’s judgments which we all, as Job, must endure before we will be given to know God and His Son.
Next week, if the Lord wills, we will continue to hear our Lords words to us through His judgment of Job, as the type of our old man:

Job 38:8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
Job 38:9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
Job 38:10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
Job 38:11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Job 38:12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
Job 38:13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
Job 38:14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
Job 38:15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.

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