Darkening Counsel

Read: Job 38:1-24

Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? (v. 2)

Why would a child want to read Job? I can’t explain it, but I was that child. More than anything in my Young Reader’s Bible, I wanted to read Job—not necessarily because I understood the principles or theology found there. Rather, I was desperate for wisdom in the midst of things I couldn’t understand. My world was already rocked by childhood abuse, and certainly I felt a kinship with Job, reeling from unfairness and pain. He knew nothing of Satan, the one who whispers lies into the ears of God and tries to destroy all that is good—and neither did I. But I earnestly prayed for wisdom and faithfulness.

Job’s story wove into me a holy fear of God, and a reverence for mystery. Thirty-seven dark chapters of his story go by. Job believes the best of life is behind him. The resources of his faith are low. But, oh, chapter 38! God responds, and nine times in the first 24 verses speaks of darkness and light, challenging our understanding. That he is Creator of both is clear, and God’s first words after all those chapters of silence are best pondered: “Who is this that darkens counsel . . . ?”

It is possible to speak words filled with religiosity but devoid of knowledge. It is possible that good counsel can be darkened when whole truth is not known. But God can deliver words that go to the heart of the matter (Hebrews 4:12). —Amy Clemens

As you pray, allow your awe and reverence for God’s mysterious ways to fuel the conversation.

About the Author

amy clemens

With a bachelors in journalism from Texas Tech University and a masters from Western Theological Seminary, Amy Clemens enjoys all things writing, particularly about the life of faith. She is blessed with a family that includes husband Fred, five children, and five grandchildren.

Amy has just published her first book, "Walking When You'd Rather Fly: Meditations on Faith After the Fall," which weaves her journey from childhood abuse toward healing and spiritual growth with a practical theology for the big story of God. You can find out more about the book and author at walkingwhenyoudratherfly.com.