Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
The earth might have been regarded by the angels in reference either to its future inhabitants, or to God, or to the evil which had already found its way into the universe.
I. In reference to its future inhabitants, it was to be the house of a great family and the school of a great character.
II. It was destined to be a temple of God, from every corner of which should ascend to Him continually the incense of praise, where He should signally manifest His glory and develop His perfections.
III. The earth might have been viewed by the angels in reference to the strife with evil which had even then commenced in heavenly places. They saw the end from the beginning; they looked through the perplexities and the entanglements of Providence, and saw judgment through all gradually brought forth unto victory. The principalities and powers who shouted for joy at the foundation of the earth look down even now from their glory thrones upon the contest of which it is the field. Nay, rather should we think of them as encamped among us, and waging an invisible war, of which we ourselves are the subject.
E. M. Goulburn, Sermons, p. 401.
Reference: Job 38:16.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 251.
Job 38:22Snow is my text, written in letters of white. "Hast thou"—have you, boy or girl—"entered into the treasures of the snow?" How pure it is; how soft it is; how strong it is; how silent it is; how useful it is.
I. Think of the purity of the snow. What a wonderful white it is! You can get no other white like it. If you would learn the lesson of purity, never say an impure word. You cannot help the thought coming into your mind, but do not cherish the thought.
II. Then think of two things about the snow which we do not often think of connecting together. One is silentness, and the other is power. The strongest things in the world are the most silent. The snow is strong. You say you can take it in your hands and melt it; but when all the flakes have drifted together, an engine cannot break it. It will get so strong that it will come down from the mountains and then, rushing down along the mountainside, crush hundreds of houses. It is strong and silent. Your lives would be stronger if they were silent.
III. Another thing about snow is that it joins together two things not always together—beauty and usefulness. The snow, which we talk of as cold, is the thing that keeps the life and warmth in the roots in the earth. It keeps out of the earth the cold east wind, and keeps in the moisture. It is therefore not only beautiful in giving beauty to others, but it is useful.
IV. When you see the snow in the streets, you can say, "O God, for Jesus' sake make my heart and my life even purer than that white snow." And then think of its use and say, "If it be Thy will, O God, make my life a little use to some, and make it beautiful, not with any earthly beauty, but with the beauty of faith and holiness."
T. T. Shore, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. i., p. 94.
References: Job 38:25-27.—G. Dawson, Sermons on Daily Life and Duty, p. 297; Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Genesis to Proverbs, p. 141. Job 38:31.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. xiv., No. 818; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 81; H. Macmillan, Bible Teaching in Nature, p. 1. Job 38:35.—T. Kelly, Pulpit Trees, p. 9; A. W. Momerie, Defects of Modern Christianity, p. 150. Job 38-42—S. Cox, Expository Essays and Discourses, p. 126. 38-42:6—Ibid., Expositor, 1st series, vol. xii., pp. 1, 143, and 199; Ibid., Commentary on Job, p. 489. Job 40:2.—E. Monro, Practical Sermons, vol. i., p. 53. Job 40:3, Job 40:4.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii., No. 83. Job 40:4.—Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 158.
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?
Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.