God is the Center of the Universe (Job 38:25–27) - Radical

God is the Center of the Universe (Job 38:25–27)

“Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land and to make the ground sprout with grass.”
-Job 38:25–27

So Job 38 begins. God’s words to Job amidst all Job’s wrestling and questions and thoughts and words from his miserable comforters. Finally, God speaks. This is the place where we would expect to see God’s answer to the mystery of evil and suffering in the world. Why do bad, horrible, painful things happen to good people? What we have seen over and over again in Job is suffering that is not because of some specific sin in Job’s life. It’s actually because of righteousness in Job’s life. Why? And we’re waiting and waiting and waiting for the answer.

Job 38:25–27 Remains Us of Who God Is

And instead we get to Job 38 and God speaks and we get 64 questions from God before Job that reveal who God is. We’ll get to Job’s conclusion in Job 42 but the reason I read and I want to lead us to pray specifically, according Job 38 verses 25 through 27. Did you hear the question here? Who’s cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt.

Basically, who brings the rain and the thunder, to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man. So think about this. God brings rain, thunder in places where no man even exists and deserts where there are no people. In other words, these verses are a clear reminder that you and I, that men and women, we are not at the center of the universe and everything that’s happening in the world doesn’t revolve around us.

Job 38:25–27 Teaches Us that Everything in the Universe Revolves Around God

Ultimately, everything in the universe revolves around God. He is at the center of the universe and when we walk through suffering and we are trying to discern what God is doing in our lives and what God is teaching us and how God is working in us… Those are good questions to ask but they’re not the ultimate question because if these were the ultimate questions, we would think that everything we’re walking through ultimately centers around us when it’s not true.

When we walk through suffering and difficulties, yes, as we’ve seen, God’s doing things in our lives. He’s leading us to rely on him and he’s refining our faith and he’s teaching us to hate sin and he’s leading us to reward in him. Yes, he’s doing all kinds of work in our lives but he’s also doing work in others lives in us, through us as we walk through suffering.

Job 38:25–27 Calls God the Center of the Universe

We’re not at the center here and others aren’t at the center either. Ultimately God does all that he does in the world, ultimately, to glorify himself. And that may rub us wrong. I’m guessing it does in our sinful prideful hearts to hear that God does what he does for his own exaltation to exalt himself. But I guess if that rubs us wrong, just ask the follow up question, “Well, who else would you rather him absolve?” For whatever point God were to exalt someone or something else, he is no longer the God who’s worthy of all exaltation and he is. That’s what it means for him to be God.

He is worthy of all glory and all things revolve around him. God, by his very nature, is at the center of the universe and this is a fundamental realization we need in every facet of our lives, which is part of why Job 38 and God’s response to Job starts here, to reorient our lives in this world around understanding that we’re not at the center, but God is at the center.

Job 38:25–27 Points to God’s Mercy

And as we’ll see, as we continue on through these closing chapters of Job, this is really good news that God, the infinite, holy loving, just merciful God is at the center of it all instead of you or me and our weakness and our sinfulness and our finite, imperfect love. It is really good news to know that at the center of the universe, everything revolves around the greatest being of all, the God who is majestic and holy and wonderful and loving. And even that this God, this is the gospel, glorifies himself. How? By sending his son as a substitute sacrifice for our sin so that we could be forgiven of our sin and restore the relationship with him that God glorifies himself by saving sinners. Oh God, we praise you right now as the one who is at the center of it all.

Job 38:25–27 Leads Us to Pray for the Nations

And we say in our lives in a fresh way, based on what we read here in Job chapter 38, that we are not at the center of the universe and everything doesn’t revolve around us and we are so glad that’s the case. We are so glad everything revolves around you and you are all good and all-powerful and all-loving and all just and all-wise. And so we say today in our lives may everything we do today revolves around you. May we bring glory to you, even in things we don’t understand in our lives, may we bring glory to you in everything we do.

May we make your glory known among all the nations, that all the peoples might glorify you. God, we pray for unreached people, groups around the world. We pray for Afghans, for Barani Arabs. God, we pray for the Chandu of Bangladesh. We pray for the Baloch. We pray for Jewish men and women. God, we pray for the spread of your glory among all the nations through our lives. You are the center. Jesus be the center of our lives. As that song says, in everything we do, exalt yourself through us, even when, and especially when we walk through difficult days. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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