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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2006

Too Big for Your Britches?

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

Have you ever heard your parents or grandparents say: “You’re getting too big for your britches”? This expression doesn’t mean that we have outgrown our pants. Rather it means that we are getting out of line, and are probably acting (or talking) in a way that isn’t respectful to our parents or elders. We’re making requests or demands that we probably shouldn’t be making. This is precisely what Job did as his suffering continued. He requested to speak to God—even stating, “You call, and I will answer, or let me speak first and You respond to me” (Job 13:22). In the midst of Job’s suffering, he forgot to Whom he was speaking.

In Job chapter 38, God responded to Job. This passage begins: “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: ‘Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’” God basically told Job: “Young man, you’ve gotten too big for your britches. Stand up tall because you and I are going to have a talk! Only I’m the one Who is going to be doing all the talking.” So, for the next three chapters, God pounded Job with question after question—many of which we still have not been able to answer. Consider some of the questions the Lord asked Job.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Universe?

Can you command the morning and cause dawn?

Have you entered into the springs of the sea?

Where is the way to the dwelling of light?

Have you entered the treasury of snow or hail?

Who makes the path for the thunderbolt? Can you send out lightnings?

Does the hawk fly by your wisdom?

Can you control the behemoth or the leviathan?

God was trying to show Job just how mighty He was. This humbling passage is a reminder to all of us of just how powerful God truly is. Hopefully, Job’s experience will help us remember not ever to become too big for our britches.



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