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Who Are You, O Man?

by Adam Flaugh

God put Job in his proper place through a series of questions in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Job. The interrogation concludes in chapter 40:

Then the Lord said to Job, “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.” Then Job answered the Lord and said, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth” (Job 40:1-4).

Since Job knew God’s wisdom and power was incomparable to his own, he wisely shut his mouth. Through this exchange we are provided with a proper perspective of man in relation to God: Man has no right to bring an accusation against God, and God has no obligation to provide an explanation to man.

No Right to Accuse

If you are ever tempted to question God’s wisdom in the affairs of your life, you would be wise to ask yourself the following questions:

Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? (Prov. 30:4)
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding? (Isa. 40:12-14).

If you are not the one who can answer “I have” to these questions, then you better follow the example of Job and keep your mouth shut as he did. The creation has no right to accuse the Creator.

Who are you, O man, who answers back to God? (Rom. 9:20).
Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker (Isa. 45:9).

No Obligation to Explain

Another point to note from Job 38 and 39 is that it may please God to not provide an explanation for your circumstances. In the Book of Job, God did not clarify to Job the reason for his pain and suffering. We know from Job 1 that the devil was behind it, but that information was not necessary for Job to know nor necessary for God to reveal to him. What Job needed to do was simply trust God.

Trusting God is what all of us need to do when there does not seem to be a reason for the difficulties in our life. Though God may not grant the right to accuse or be obliged to provide an explanation, in His amazing grace, He does promise to provide what we need. The almighty creator and sustainer of all things, whose understanding is inscrutable and strength never abated, is the same one who “gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power” (Isa. 40:29). We can be confident that trusting God and waiting for Him is not a vain endeavor (Isa. 40:31). When we take God at His Word, we know He uses those trials to perfect and complete us (James 1:2-4).

Who God Is

So, who are you, O man? We are clay and grasshoppers when compared to God. “The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (Rom. 9:20). No, the potter is not equal to the clay (Isa. 29:16). Our Creator is far above His creation. In comparison, it does not matter who we are, but who God is:

But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases (Ps. 115:3).
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless (Isa. 40:22-23).

May we as Christians never forget our proper place before our Creator. He is the absolutely sovereign One who in amazing grace has chosen to deal kindly with those who are in Christ Jesus. Now in Christ, not only are we His subjects, but we are His children. How amazing to consider that redeemed saints are fellow heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:14-17). We ought never accuse or cease to praise our sovereign and gracious God.