The book of Job is full of speech. Most of it, of course, consists in the seemingly endless dialogues between Job and his friends in chapters 3-37. Job, understandably, laments his lot in life. His friends first insinuate, then openly state, that he must have sinned to deserve such a fate. Job replies that he hasn’t sinned, certainly not in such a way as to deserve this, and that they are proving pretty poor comforters with their continued accusations. The reader might imagine relief is finally in sight in 31:40, “The words of Job are ended.” But young Elihu feels he has to speak, too, and proceeds to talk with abandon for another six chapters. At last, as we hit the end of chapter 37, the speakers run out of words.
It is at that point that God speaks to Job. When Job’s words are spent, God declares his sovereign and ineffable reign over the world—a world he has created, and which he cares for in ways Job could never imagine. But even as God shrinks Job down to size, he secretly ennobles Job by the mere fact that he speaks with him. He cares for the stars and the rock badgers and the ostriches…and he cares for Job as well.
God’s Word came to Job, and God’s Word has come to the world at large in the person of Jesus. Things have not changed much since Job’s time, even if the mode of communication has. Through our texts and our emails and our phone calls, we talk and we talk and we talk; we rest, and then we talk some more.
May God grant us the grace to someday speak our way to silence, so we can at last hear his Word.