Job 38:22–23: “Have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle?”
Observation: Reading the book of Job has always required fortitude; experience tells us we will have to wade through endless diatribes of bad theology to get to the good stuff. But finally we are rewarded with the crescendo. The thirty-eighth chapter is like coming to the cannon volleys in the 1812 Overture. At last God Himself speaks. Bursting into the conversation with heart-stopping declarations of truth about Himself, his rapid-fire questions wilt the smug arrogance of those who would speak for Him as He thunders, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4). “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”(v. 2). “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion?” (v. 31). On He goes, establishing His right to have His words heard and respected as the final authority. But tucked into a small corner of this litany of God’s awesome powers is one nugget that does more than affirm His attributes as the Creator: “Have you seen the storehouses of the hail which I have reserved for the day of distress, for the day of war and battle?” Who said anything about days of distress, or war and battle? What’s He talking about?
Application: By all accounts the book of Job recounts events that occurred a very long time ago. In fact, it’s easy to read the book with a certain muskiness filling the nostrils. But this business of God’s storing hail for the coming battle is a forward-looking comment that causes me to go to the back of the Book for understanding about when destruction will visit the whole earth. In “the hour of His judgment” (Rev. 14:7), great bowls of wrath will be poured out upon the earth. The seventh and last bowl contains an earthquake “such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth” (16:18), “and huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven . . . and men blasphemed God because . . . its plague was extremely severe” (16.21).
I have sometimes suspected that God has been napping when trouble entered my world. The truth is, from the most ancient of writings, God has told me what the end is going to look like. I can rest secure in the knowledge that all things are in His hands. The whole Book is His story—history—written in advance. Before time began, He had already planned every detail of the end of the age; it is settled. Be at peace. He has overcome the world.
Prayer: Father God, You who created all my eyes can see, I bless You and praise You; Your Name is above all names. Let Your kingdom come over all the earth. Come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly.