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Job 39:1-8 – God Cares Even for the Offspring of Wild Animals

Summary

Chapter 39 presents a series of vignettes that show God's loving care, even for wild animals that are of no direct value to human beings. God takes great delight in the animals and provides them with the nourishment that they need.

Analysis

In chapter 38, God implies that there are limits to human understanding and control. Given that, one might be tempted to despair and dread about what the future might bring. In this chapter, God goes on to assure that we can trust God the Creator. God loves the creation, and God will provide for the needs of all creatures. If even the baby mountain goat is watched and loved by God, then surely the same is true of human beings who are made in God's own image. Jesus once spoke in a similar way about a God who even has his eye on the sparrow (Luke 12:6-7).

Job 39:1-8

39‘Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
   Do you observe the calving of the deer?
2 Can you number the months that they fulfil,
   and do you know the time when they give birth,
3 when they crouch to give birth to their offspring,
   and are delivered of their young?
4 Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
   they go forth, and do not return to them.


5 ‘Who has let the wild ass go free?
   Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,
6 to which I have given the steppe for its home,
   the salt land for its dwelling-place?
7 It scorns the tumult of the city;
   it does not hear the shouts of the driver.
8 It ranges the mountains as its pasture,
   and it searches after every green thing.

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10 February 2011

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