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Job 11:7-9 & meaning...

Can 

you fathom the mystery of God? Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.

Job 11:7-9

Context

Job 11 [1.] Then Zophar, the Naamathite, answered,

“Shouldn’t the multitude of words be answered?

    Should a man full of talk be justified?

Should your boastings make men hold their peace?

    When you mock, shall no man make you ashamed?

For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure.

    I am clean in your eyes.’

But oh that God would speak,

    and open his lips against you,

that he would show you the secrets of wisdom!

    For true wisdom has two sides.

    Know therefore that God exacts of you less than your iniquity deserves.

Can you fathom the mystery of God?

    Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

They are high as heaven. What can you do?

    They are deeper than Sheol. What can you know?

Its measure is longer than the earth,

    and broader than the sea.

Job 11 [10.] If he passes by, or confines,

    or convenes a court, then who can oppose him?

For he knows false men.

    He sees iniquity also, even though he doesn’t consider it.


Meaning:

  • Fathoming the Mystery of God:

Zophar begins with a rhetorical challenge, asking whether Job can fathom the mystery of God. The term "mystery" here implies the depth and complexity of God's nature, a dimension that surpasses human understanding. The question sets the stage for a contemplation of the unfathomable aspects of the Almighty.

  • Limits Higher than the Heavens:

The subsequent questions delve into the vastness of God's limits. Zophar uses spatial imagery to convey the insurmountable heights and depths of God's ways. The heavens, often associated with the divine realm, become a symbol of the immeasurable expanse that transcends human reach. The questions emphasize the inherent limitations of mortal understanding when confronted with the infinite nature of the Almighty.

  • Measure Longer and Wider:

Zophar further expounds on the limitless nature of God's ways, stating that their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. The use of expansive earthly elements emphasizes the vastness and incomprehensibility of God's plans and purposes.

  • Significance of the Verses:

Humility in Understanding God: The verses call for humility in acknowledging the limitations of human understanding when grappling with the mysteries of God. They encourage a recognition of the vast difference between the finite human mind and the infinite wisdom of the Almighty.


Relevance Today:

Navigating Complexity: In a world filled with complexities and uncertainties, these verses remind individuals of the need for humility in the face of life's mysteries. They encourage a humble approach to the unknown, recognizing the limits of human understanding.

Cultivating Awe and Reverence: The questions posed by Zophar inspire awe and reverence for the infinite nature of God. Today, believers can draw from this perspective to approach their faith with a sense of wonder and respect for the unfathomable mysteries of the divine.


Cross-References:

Romans 11:33: "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!" This New Testament verse echoes the sentiment of the incomprehensibility of God's wisdom.

Isaiah 55:8-9: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." These verses from Isaiah parallel the concept of God's ways being higher than human ways.


As we reflect on Job 11:7-9, may it inspire a posture of humility and awe in our approach to the incomprehensible mysteries of God, fostering a deepened sense of reverence and reliance on the wisdom that surpasses human understanding.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible