And God Speaks!
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Job. 38. 1 - 17
For weeks we have been reading, marking and inwardly digesting the magnificent book of Job, tragic and filled with despair as well as unhelpful advice from his so called friends. As Hebrew scholar and translator of the Hebrew scriptures Robert Alter says, this book is filled with some of the most beautiful poetry in the world. Job's expressions of despair are exquisitely phrased despite his great suffering. And yet when God speaks, Alter says, the language takes on a transcendent power even greater than the language of Job.
This has been my favorite passage in all of scripture for a good long while. There is in God's response to Job a power that circumvents all that life throws at us. God out of the whirlwind, out of all of the cosmos (so beautifully depicted by William Blake here) roars out to Job...WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I CREATED THE EARTH? My humble interpretation of this being...do not doubt me oh beloved, you who are created in my image, you whom I created as an object of my affection, do not doubt me, I will never leave you nor forsake you.
And then God goes on to illustrate all of creation which God brought to being, the light and the darkness, the land and the sea, the creatures and the humans.
There is a mighty power in these words which fills my heart, comforts my soul and soothes my spirit. If you haven't read it recently, I urge you to do so. And in this time of pandemic when you find yourself plagued or rattled, terrified or devastated, listen for the voice of God speaking...I am here, I have always been here, I will always be here, forever and ever Amen.