Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years! “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no one lives, an uninhabited desert, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen? – Job 38:16-30
God continues His response to Elihu, Job’s three friends, and Job. Job retained an appreciation for the deep truths that God is sharing even in the midst of his storm. He could see the light even in the midst of darkness.
God poses two very important rhetorical questions. What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? These are two of most important and profound questions I have come upon so far in my float through the bible.
God seems to be saying that there is a spiritual reality beyond this world from which we all came (“surely you know, for you were already born!” and to which we all return. And there is a place separated from this light that is dark (the earth?). It seems like God is hinting that when we are born we remember this place of light and as we live “many years” we can forget about this place and become accustomed to the dark. I reflected on this in previous rabbit trails called “Rabbit Trail #7 – Cave Dwellers“.
After this interesting foray into the meaning of light and dark God returns to some amazing water imagery…”have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle”. God seems to be saying that there are in fact times when God’s Rain will fall on the righteous and the wicked.
God continues by giving a pretty accurate description of the process of erosion and storm hydrology. God makes the point that the turbulent waters are sometimes not meant for us but are in fact for an “uninhabited desert”. The same storm that causes grass to sprout in a desolate wasteland can cause destruction and death.
Then comes one of the most amazing philosophical statements in this passage, “Does the rain have a father?”. In essence the question is – does God control nature? This is a difficult question to answer. God created the underlying Logos, or reason, underlying all of nature and the processes that operate in nature. So in that sense God is the Father of the rain, the dew, storms, and everything else in nature. But does he commands each and every event in nature? I am not sure, but does it actually matter? God has adopted us as his children…that is what matters to me.
Prayer: God you are the Father of the rain. Thank you for adopting us as Your children.