Job 38–39: The Lord Speaks

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 130–131


The Lord finally answered Job’s prayers. He did not seem, however, to answer the questions Job and his friends raised, like: Why was Job suffering? Instead, the Lord gave answers in the form of more questions. The answers to the Lord’s questions give us perspectives about God and life that are very important to people facing trials in their lives.Speaking of life’s challenges, Elder Richard G. Scott said:“When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? …“This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings. … To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Proverbs 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 18–19; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17).Job 38–39 gives us an idea of what would help Job have more confidence in the Lord so that he would more fully trust that whatever trials he experienced would be for his benefit.

Understanding the Scriptures

Job 38

Gird up now thy loins (v. 3)Prepare yourself 
Demand (v. 3)Ask 
Issued (v. 8)Came 
Garment thereof (v. 9)Clothing (of the earth) 
Swaddlingband (v. 9)A covering wrapped around babies 
Hitherto (v. 11)Here 
Stayed (v. 11)Stopped 
Dayspring (v. 12)Sunrise 
Perceived the breadth (v. 18)Understood the size 
Gendered (v. 29)Gave birth to 
Pleiades, Orion, Mazzaroth, Arcturus (vv. 31–32)Constellations of stars 
Dominion (v. 33)Control 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Job 38–39.

Activity A iconAnswer the Lord’s Questions

  1. 1.

    How would you answer the questions the Lord asked Job in Job 38–39?

  2. 2.

    Tell what you think Job should have learned as he answered the questions the Lord asked.