"So, Job, I have to admit I was stunned at rereading the first few verses of God's speech to you in ch.38. God is portrayed as imaginative and creative, a God who carefully and to the delight of the angelic hosts created the foundations of the earth. The stars of the morning were not dark, Job, as you wished them to be in 3:9; rather they were singing for joy. Didn't these angels keep radiating joy, Job, even when you faced your distress. Hm, that is a possible shortcoming in God's argument, isn't it? You could have agreed with God that the original purpose of creation was very fine, but that it became skewed when you were screwed, don't you think Job? Because, in fact, even though you are just one person suffering a particularly horrid distress, you are the archetypal sufferer, the one to whom others refer when they suffer, the one who defines the concept.
But I think that the combined effect of Elihu's words in ch.36 and God's words here was to make you wonder, Job. It made you begin to question the firmness of your interpretation of your pain. Maybe God was wooing you with this language, trying to encourage you to remember your first love. When you recalled your earlier life in ch.29, Job, it was to emphasize to yourself what you had lost and how different things now were. Maybe God is telling you the story of his earlier days to get you to remove your focus totally from yourself. Maybe the world can have glorious things in it, Job, and possibly that glory can be separate from you. Your vision has become telescope, Job, and increasingly narrow even as your words ring increasingly true. I guess I want to say that God has another truth, and he wants to bring you into it.
And then he does so in another remarkable way, Job. In 38:8-11 God talks about limiting the sea, but what is remarkable about this passage, Job, is not necessarily the majestic "Thus far you shall come and no further, and here shall your proud waves be stopped" (v.11), but two earlier things. First, God asked rhetorically who "shut in the sea" when it "burst out from the womb." I had to read those words closely, Job, because I was wondering something. And, sure enought, it is true. The words in the second half of v.8 are among the strongest I have seen to express extrusion. Literally the final three Hebrew words read, "in its bursting forth, going forth from the womb." Rivers "burst forth" from their sources, Job, when their waters cascade down from a higher elevation after the Spring thaw.
And, I don't think the second "bursting forth" or "going forth" was necessary to complete the thought. It is as if there is a double bursting-forth from the womb, an explosion of intensity as the water shoots forth. It is like Hershey's kisses now, Job. There is now a "double chocolate" kiss, as if we needed that, for those who want their chocolate wrapped in more chocolate. Double the intensity; double the pleasure; double the fat. But the sea burst forth with such an eruption, Job, such a belching forth, such a snort, such a violent energy that it seemed that it could never be controlled. But the sea was a sign that life was coming forth, Job, that the process of nature seemingly could not be controlled.
But you don't want yourself to burst forth from any womb, do you Job? As a matter of fact, in 3:10 you lamented that God did not shut the door of your mother's womb to keep you from coming forth, to hide trouble from your eyes. Though you used the word "beten" for womb there, in 3:11 you used the same word that God used in 38:8--rehem. You wanted to shut the doors; the sea wanted to burst them. You wanted the womb to be the tomb; God wanted the womb to be the place of big bang-type energy. You wanted the womb to be the last word, while God wanted it to be the first word. God could have come up with a bumper sticker, based on the "Arms are for hugging" sticker which was popular in the 1990s in America. What would it be? "Wombs are for Bursting Forth" or, one that I like better, "Wombs are for Extruding."
You wanted God not to bring you forth from the womb (10:18), but you misunderstood the basic function of wombs, didn't you Job. And, there is more, Job. God will repeat himself. God will repeat himself. Only using different words. In the next two verses he also strums some chords that should have touched your mystic chords of memory, also. Here is what I mean.