For many chapters Job has been saying that God has been acting unjustly, that he is in the right, and God has not answered him. All of that is over. God now turns the tables and asks Job a few questions. You gotta love a God who talks a little smack. At the same time, God doesn’t do it to humiliate. God isn’t saying, “You are such an idiot. Sit down and shut up.” While God is trying to put Job in his proper place, He isn’t doing it in such a way that Job is going to feel distant and rejected by God. God is a good Father and isn’t provoking Job to wrath (see Ephesians 6). When kids hit about 12 or 13 they suddenly become omniscient (they know everything). It becomes necessary from time to time to remind them where they are in terms of wisdom and knowledge. We must be careful not to do this in such a way that puts a wall up between us and them. It isn’t always easy. I can imagine that God was holding back here. We, as children of God need this reminder from time to time of where we are. We, as parents need to remind our children where they are. Let’s learn from the Lord and pass both the lesson, and the manner in which the lesson was taught, to our kids.
If metal could talk and you asked it about the process it went through in order to become as strong or as pure as it is, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a pleasant thing to hear about. First there is the process of being heated to a predetermined temperature. Once that temperature is reached it has to be carefully maintained. It can’t get too hot nor too cool, otherwise the process of purification is ruined. As the material is cooked impurities float to the top and must be removed. For the metal, if it had feelings, it would be a long, hot, uncomfortable, unpleasant experience. the way that you know the silver is done is when you can look into the pot and see your own reflection. That’s what God does with us. After we have been refined and tested God calls us His people, and we proudly call Him our God.
To the casual reader, this might sound very harsh. Turning all the fresh water into blood so that there is nothing to drink. Yet this, with everything else in the book, is exactly what the world apart from Jesus deserves. It amazes me that, on the one hand, there are those who will say that God is too harsh, that He is over the top and unfair in His judgments and punishments. Then there are those on the other hand who will say that God lets evil run rampant, that there is too much injustice in the world, that He doesn’t care, and that He is unfair for not doing something about all of this. In the end (literally) it isn’t us who decides what is fair or not, or if the timing of the justice is right or not, it is God. This is the consummation of of 6,000 years of patiently waiting through all of mankind’s evil toward God and one another. This is the time God determined and the way in which he determined to express His justice and judgment. The fact is that God was patient. The fact is that God could have erased all of this and done whatever He wanted. But He made a promise. He made a covenant. This is His plan. God’s plans are always good, and nothing ever goes wrong in them.