Thursday, December 18, 2014

A little known prophecy in Job

I'm sure you have  read (and admired) the following verse from Job a million times. But have you ever considered the prophetic aspects of this powerfully packed scripture? Job 38 is the climactic chapter where God speaks to Job about His own sovereignty over creation, time, and over all the peoples of earth.

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?" (Job 38:22-23)

Have you ever noticed the phrase, "the time of trouble"? Other translations say reserved for "the time of distress". You will also notice the reference to "the day" of battle and war. These are standard phrases referring to the final days of the Tribulation. (For example, Jeremiah 30:7, Obadiah 1:14, Joel 2:11).

God has used hail before in judgment and He will do so again. In the past, He used hail during the plagues He sent to Pharaoh, in themselves pictures of the revelation judgments of the coming Tribulation.

"The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And the hail struck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field". (Exodus 9:25)

The future judgment will contain another plague of hail-

And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. (Revelation 16:21)

Gill's Exposition says of the Job 38 verse,
Of hail we have instances in Scripture, as employed against the Egyptians and Canaanites, Exodus 9:25; and of a reserve of it in the purposes of God, and in prophecy against the day of battle with antichrist, Revelation 16:21.
And though there are no instances of snow being used in this way in Scripture, yet there is in history. Strabo reports, that at Corzena and Cambysena, which join to Mount Caucasus, such snows have fallen, that whole companies of men have been swallowed up in them; and even armies have been overwhelmed with them, as the army of the Gauls and such quantities have been thrown down from mountains, on which they have been lodged, that towns, towers, and villages, have been laid prostrate by them and in the year 443, a vast snow destroyed many.
I am so awed by prophecy. The (probably) oldest book of the bible, Job, contains a prophecy that is parallel to the last book of the bible, Revelation. God has His plan and who can thwart it? He has set aside some for eternal condemnation and others for eternal joy. He has stored aside His wrath to be unleashed upon them, and hail will be part of that stored-up unleashing. He is precise and will do what He says and it will come to pass to the Nth degree.

The bible is awe-inspiring in its depiction of our God, who authored it and revealed to us what He wants us to know. Part of that knowing is seeing His prophetic mind and His plans come to pass. I praise Him for all His plans, ways, perfections, prophecies.

The purpose of prophecy is:
The disclosing of the will and purposes of God through inspired or Spirit-filled human beings. The OT emphasises the importance of prophecy as a means of knowing God. Many OT prophecies find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ.
Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.

1. Contents of Prophecy
That which is given by the Spirit to the prophet can refer to the past and to the present as well as to the future. However, that which is revealed to the prophet finds its inner unity in this, that it all aims to establish the supremacy of Jehovah. Prophecy views also the detailed events in their relation to the Divine plan, and this latter has for its purpose the absolute establishment of the supremacy of Jehovah in Israel and eventually on the entire earth.
von, O. C. (1915). Prophecy, Prophets. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2464). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.

Above all, prophecy shows who is LORD over all creation. It points to Jesus. It is history unfolding as it was laid down from the beginning. The LORD has stored up hail and snow, reserved for the day of distress. He will do it.

6 comments :

  1. Nice catch! My husband and I have just (re)started the book of Job together. We read through the entire Bible together chapter by chapter, daily, and have for years... hence my comment "re"started Job; we've actually read through Job before. :) But we always glean more each time we pass through the Scriptures. The prophecy you mentioned today is a wonderful gem we'll have to keep in mind!

    -Carolyn

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you reading with your husband. What a blessing.

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    2. Though we each read Scripture on our own, our daily reading as a couple keeps us - and has kept us - on the same page (literally and figuratively) theologically. It is a tremendous blessing.

      I'm really loving how that end times prophecy is woven right there into Job 38!

      -Carolyn

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  2. Job is a difficult book to read because of its imagery and anachronisms but it is also very rewarding.

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    1. Thanks Anonymous, I agree. I found it difficult because of the heavy handed repetitiveness of the 'friends' arguments. I got as tired and as frustrated as Job.

      I was not aware of the anachronisms. Can you point them out to me? Thanks.

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  3. This is an intriguing article. I wonder if the heavy snowfalls in the NE USA in recent years is a prelude and warning. I believe all the weather extremes and natural disasters are warnings. God doesn't wish to punish us and so He warns and warns and warns. The heavy snow is just one more among many ways He is trying to get our attention. People won't be able to say they didn't know; it is all over the internet and in social conversations that God is warning us.

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