Gandalf, Job, and the Indignant Love of God

Derek Rishmawy | May 19, 2016


Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” (Job 38:1–3)

Easily one of the most bracing passages in Scripture, God’s words to Job are exhilarating in their majestically aggressive grandeur. After 36 chapters of divine silence in the face of Job’s comforters and Job’s passionate self-defense—indeed, his prosecution of God’s justice and character—the Holy One opens his mouth and reduces Job to stunned, repentant silence.  

At first glance it’s easy to see these speeches simply as magnificent assertions of the Lord’s raw power over human puniness. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Who determined its measurements—surely you know! What were you doing when I was pinning up the stars like twinkle lights, little fella?” It sounds like an old man putting a young buck in his place: “I was working this job before you were in your mama’s womb.”

God seems downright salty here.

Parental Power

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Part of the point of God’s speeches is to assert that power and distinction. There’s something gloriously ferocious about it—like standing on the rocks before the ocean, awed at the force…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/gandalf-job-and-the-indignant-love-of-god.