I'm going to skip a few chapters. 1) I have grown tired of analyzing every single argument from Job's friends and his replies and 2) I'm preaching on Sunday, and my text is Job 39:1-18, so I've dwelt enough on chapters 1-37.
God apparently tires of all the words as well, because after Job's friends take three rounds of speeches, and even a fourth character has a word, God shows up in a whirlwind. Here's how the King James says it: "1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. "
That sounds so "angry" and harsh; but I don't think so. I'm thinking of Jacob wrestling with the angel, or Moses and Abraham bargaining with God and bringing him to change his mind. Apparently, girding one's loins involves tucking in the loin cloth and preparing for some hard work.
So, I really enjoy wrestling with my son. The two year old is no problem, he runs up to me and I just tussle him around a bit and then he's on his back. The nine year old has become more of a problem. He's a little tougher, and I give it to him a little tougher too. He knows all my tricks, and doesn't just run straight into trouble now. And I can't just engage him in combat without preparing: no wallet, cellphone, or keys in the pocket, sometimes I need to take off a nice shirt and put on a t-shirt. It's not the simple matter it used to be. Wrestling with my 100 lb. nine year old can hurt, and he often walks away limping-- and we LOVE IT!
I wonder if God is inviting Job into a divine match of wrestling. He's warning Job that he'd better not engage if he isn't ready because there will be pain. And for the next two chapters, God manhandles Job (metaphorically of course). How will they come out on the other side?