Beginning in Job 25, Bildad and Job entertain an interesting discussion on the dominion and power of God. In chapter 26, Job lists several common examples of the power of God which he ends in verse 14 with a lofty conclusion, "Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?" Job's insightful discourse provides an excellent introduction for the study of the mighty power of God. In this lesson, we shall look at three facts concerning the power of God, taken from Job 26:5-14.
I. His Power is Unfathomable
Who is able to fully reckon the power of God, asks Job. Even the monuments of His power that surround us every day are just a small portion of his might. These are just the little crumbs and fragments that make up His vast power, like a small drop in the ocean. Not only that, these examples that Job lists are far mightier acts than the strongest creature or the greatest potentate. The understanding of men and angels cannot possibly comprehend His power. God alone can conceive of and express His almighty power- - the thunder of His power! The name brontosaurus, one of the most powerful dinosaurs, comes from two Greek words which literally mean "thunder-lizard". The Romans worshipped Jupiter who wielded a terrible thunderbolt. God's message to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai was preceded by thunders and lightning. James and John were called the "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17) perhaps for their fiery and destructive zeal. Throughout the book of Revelation, the devastating judgements of God are preceded by thunders and lightning. No doubt, the thunder of His power must refer to the greatness, the magnificence and the immensity of the power of God. Thus we may summarize that God possesses great power that is far beyond the scope of our understanding. Just to further emphasize this point, we shall consider a few of the names of God that bring out the nature of His power.
A. El Elyon
El Elyon is translated in Scripture as "the most high God". He is the Master of the Universe, the highest of the high, the One with absolute authority (Genesis 14:18-20, Daniel 4:24-37).
B. El Elohim
El Elohim is translated as "God of gods" in Scripture. Whatever power men may have ascribed to their false gods, the Lord is the God of gods. His power is above all others.
C. Jehovah Sabaoth
When you see the phrase "the Lord of Hosts", it is the translation of Jehovah Sabaoth. It is a name that suggests tremendous power. The Lord is the commander-in-chief of the armies of heaven. You might recall that it was the Captain of the host of the Lord that led the Israelites into that great victory over Jericho (Joshua 5:14-15).
II. His Power is Unnoticed
In our text, Job listed several examples that illustrated the power of God, but how many of these do we acknowledge in our daily life as being performed by God? The truth is that much of God's power goes unnoticed even by His children. Why is this? Let's consider the following two reasons:
A. Taken for Granted
We often pass through our daily motions without realizing how dependent we are upon the power of electricity. Though we make use of it everyday, it is not until the power goes out that we come to realize how many of our simple routines cannot even be performed without electricity. In the same way, man often takes for granted the power of God though it can be seen in every aspect of life.
That a dead kernel of corn can give rise to a living corn plant (vs. 5), that precious metals exist below the ground (vs. 5), that the clouds are able to hold the rain (vs. 8), that the large and weighty earth simply hangs in space (vs 7), that the oceans and seas do not overflow the land (vs. 10), and the existence of the constellations (vs. 13) are all examples of God's power which can be experienced every day. Where would we be without rain, and yet it does not rain without the power of God to cause it (Job 37:6). The grass does not grow nor the wind blow without the power of God to cause it to be (Psalm 104:14, 135:7). Indeed there is not one person that has been born except by the power of God (Psalm 139:15-16, Isaiah 44:24), and there is not a one of us that draws a breath without the power of God (Acts 17:28, Job 12:10; 34:14-15).
These examples take place daily, and yet how often have we taken them for granted? Should we not daily consider the power of God in our lives and praise Him accordingly? Unfortunately, the reason we take His power for granted is due mostly to the fact that we are so familiar with manifestations of it. We are so used to breathing in and out that we do not consider we are able to do so only by God's power. We have a great need to consciously spend time each day reflecting upon the power of God (Psalm 63:1-6).
B. Not Observed
The power of God frequently goes unnoticed because it is simply not seen. How many car accidents have been unknowingly avoided because God protected us? How often have we been unaware of our nearness to death? Jacob once testified, "Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not" (Genesis 28:16). Psalm 34:7 says, The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them (see also Job 1:10 and 1 Peter 1:5). Shall we be like Nabal (his name means "fool") and deny that God has helped us by his power(1 Samuel 25:10)? Must we be like Elisha's servant and have our eyes opened to see the power of God surrounding us (2 Kings 6:17)? Again, this shows the need to set aside time daily to meditate on the power of God in our lives with thankfulness and praise (Psalm 105:1-5).
III. His Power is Underestimated
In our text, Job pondered upon how little of the power of God is seen by man. Perhaps this is part of the reason why God's power is often underestimated.
A. By Satan
No doubt Satan underestimated the power of God when he set his wicked heart on becoming a god (Isaiah 14:12-14). If he has not caught on yet, he soon will be convinced that God is infinitely more powerful. Someday there will be a war in Heaven and Satan shall be expelled (Revelation 12:7-9). Then he will be bound by the power of God for 1000 years after which God will let him loose for a season (Revelation 20:1-3). Finally, by the power of God, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and remain there for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).
B. By Sinners
Psalm 2:1-3 is a great example illustrating the fact that the heathen have underestimated the power of God. How foolish it is for man to think that he is more powerful than the God of Heaven. The King of Assyria underestimated the power of God saying, "Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?" (2 Kings 18:35). His army of 185,000 were miraculously destroyed by God and he himself was assassinated by his own sons. At the end of the Great Tribulation, the armies of the world will gather themselves together to fight against King Jesus, but they shall meet their death in a battle where there are no casualties on God's side and no survivors on the side of evil (Revelation 19:19-21). In the end, all shall bow the knee before God and acknowledge His power (Philippians 2:10-11).
C. By Saints
How sad it is that even God's children so frequently underestimate the power of their Lord. Harold B. Sightler once gave a message entitled "Can God?". He stated truly that the liberal Christian asks "Can God?" but the fundamentalist says "God Can!". Yet even the greatest of saints has at one time or another doubted the power of God.
Could it be possible that the man who saw God turn water into blood, send hail mixed with fire upon the earth, and part a sea should doubt God's power? Yet thus did Moses in the wilderness when he questioned whether God could provide meat for the children of Israel (Numbers 11:21-22). David, a man after God's own heart, showed his doubt in the power of God when he fled from Israel for fear of Saul (1 Samuel 27:1). Elijah, after calling down fire from heaven, fled for fear of death from the face of wicked Jezebel. And we, we must surely echo Elijah's sad testimony, "I am not better than my fathers".
Let us daily remember the words that the Angel gave to Mary, "For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). Let us constantly remember that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
The knowledge of God regards a thing as possible, and as it may be done; the wisdom of God regards a thing as fit and convenient to be done; the will of God resolves that it shall be done; the power of God is the application of his will to effect what it hath resolved (Charnock). Let us praise our God for the greatness of His power.