Soft Whisper, Thunderous Shout: The Gospel according to Job

The book of Job is a stunning portrait of God as the Creator and Sovereign of the universe. In many ways, it is Genesis 1-2 with flare. Genesis 1-2 paints with broad sweeping brushes. Job 38-42 paints with small elaborate strokes. We read of God’s intimate involvement in all of creation. In four chapters we see God as the Creator, Overseer, and Sustainer of all these things: the sea, waves, mountains, wind, lightning, thunder, stars, clouds, sun, day, night, snow, rain, the desert, lion, raven, oxen, donkey, ostrich, mountain goat, horse, hawk, Behemoth, and Leviathan. As our view of God expands and grows in the reading of these chapters we grow smaller and smaller. We are put in our rightful place as creatures and drawn to worship a great God. As Paul made clear in his letter to the Romans, creation is a sermon all its own. It is telling us of the great power of the invisible God (Rom 1:19-20). It is speaking of God’s glory (Ps 19:1ff). It is a magnificent sermon. But listen to what Job says about this creation sermon. “Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him!” (Job 26:17). Astounding. The sun, the pacific ocean, the rocky mountains, the sunflower, the rhino—-whispers!! Incredible. When we have explored all that he has made we have come to the outermost boundaries of his ways. We have merely heard him whispering.

With the coming of Christ we move from the fringes to the center. Whispering gives way to shouting! The invisible God unseen by any human eye is made visible in the miraculous birth of the Son of God. In Christ we see God. He is the God of the manger. He is the God of the cross. His character, his heart, his will, his plans—these are made abundantly clear. Though creation can tell of tremendous inventive power and careful design, only the cross can tell of sacrificial love and regal humility. Creation whispers, the cross shouts. The cross is God’s definitive sermon on his kindness, generosity, hospitality, patience, love, humility,goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and justice. At the cross the veil is shredded and we are welcomed past the fringes into the most holy place. At the cross God mounts the pulpit and heralds a message that practically eclipses the sermon of creation. This is why the cross alone must be our theology. The whisper must prepare the way for and give way to the shout. Job’s whirlwind experience must lead us forward to another earth shaking event (Matt 27:51).

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