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Job 38 • Who Dare?

by Robert Hawkins © 2019

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

Tell me, who would dare question my wisdom?
Is this knowledge? Such nonsense you spew!​
Brace yourself like a man, for before me you'll stand,
since I now have some questions for you.

Were you there when I laid earth's foundation?
Can you tell me -- or, are you confused?
Did you hand me the twine when I stretched out my line?
Who determined the measurements used?

Upon what have earth's footings been fastened?
And the cornerstone -- who had it laid?
When the morning stars sang and angelic shouts rang --
were you there when that music was made?

Who enclosed behind doors the great ocean
when it burst forth from out of earth's womb;
when I clothed it with clouds like a garment enshrouds,
and then wrapped it in darkness and gloom?

Who determined its boundaries and limits
behind gates and locked doors by decree?
I said, "Here is the shore, go beyond it no more;
for the beach marks the edge of the sea."

Have you ever commanded the morning,
or assigned when the dawn starts to light;
as it spreads out to take the earth's edges and shake
all the wickedness out of the night?

The earth's changes when morning has broken
is like clay that's been pressed by a seal;
like a garment's curved fold, you will slowly behold
hidden valleys and hills they reveal.

For the light is withheld from the wicked,
and their broken arms raise up no more.
Did you purpose to be at the springs of the sea,
or descend to its depths to explore?

Have the gates of death, for you, been opened?
Do the gates of dark shadows exist?
Do you not realize the extent of earth's size?
Tell me now, if you know. I insist!

Do you know of the road to light's dwelling?
Do you know where the darkness resides?
Can you point to and show the direction to go
to return to the place each abides?

Don't you know? Were you not born already?
Oh, the earth is not older than you!
Have you entered the cache where the snow has been stashed,
or the storehouse where hailstones accrue?

I've reserved them for use as my weapons,
when the day comes for battle and war.
Which direction is used when the light is diffused;
or where east winds fills earth with a roar?

​Who cuts channels for rain-flooded torrents?
As for lightning bolts -- who clears their way?
Who makes rain fall on land that is nothing but sand,
in a desert where none last a day?

Who sends rain to the dry desolation,
causing wastelands to sprout grass anew?
Tell me now, and explain: who's the father of rain?
Who's begotten the drops of the dew?

From whose womb comes the ice -- who's the mother?
Who gives birth to the frost -- is it known?
For the waters will freeze -- even surface of seas,
and become just as hard as a stone.​

Can the Pleiades' chains then be fastened?
Can you loosen Orion's own band?
Can you make stars appear in the wrong hemisphere;
guide the Bear with her cubs on command?

Do you know every law of the heavens?
Can you dominate earth with your reign?
Can you lift up your voice so that clouds have no choice
but to drench and to flood you with rain?

Can you send forth the flashes of lightning?
Do they say, "We are here -- give the word?"
Who sets wisdom apart to be placed in man's heart;
to the mind, understanding conferred?

Who can number the clouds in his wisdom?
Who can tilt heaven's water jars down;
when the dust becomes mire, as though hardened by fire,
so the soil clumps in clods on the ground?

Will you dare hunt the prey for the lion?
​Can you quench her cubs' hunger an ounce;
when they're perfectly still in their den -- poised to kill,
or their lair as they're waiting to pounce?

Tell me, who provides food for the raven,
when they're hungry with nothing to eat;
when their young cry to God and they wander abroad?
Is it you who provides them their meat?

He put a new song in my mouth,a hymn of praise to our God.Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:3

This poem won first place for the April 2021 poetry contest

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