Doxological Biodiversity in Job, Chapter 39: God’s Wisdom and Providence as the Caring Creator, Exhibited in the Creation Ecology of Wildlife Pairs
James J.S. Johnson*
The Old Testament book of Job contains a “nature sermon,” directly delivered by God Himself, unto Job, in answer to Job’s questions about how Job’s peaceful life was suddenly interrupted by agonizing afflictions and disasters. God’s answers provide a creationist theology of God’s goodness, might, wisdom, and providence. In this “nature sermon,” reported in Job 38–41, God highlights His control over the physical cosmos, then He describes His control over the world of living creatures. Beginning in Job 38:39, God emphasizes how He has caringly planned for and carefully fitted resources for critical needs of His animal creatures, including reproductive success, dietary necessities, resources to facilitate terrestrial and aerial mobility, etc. Accordingly, (a) Job should recognize God’s kind providence as it is wonderfully applied to God’s lesser creatures; (b) Job should recognize that his own humanity is more valuable to God than the lives of wild animals; and (c) Job should patiently depend upon God to work out good outcomes for his life, here and hereafter. To teach these truths (which are later summarized in 1 Peter 4:19) unto Job, God provides these paired illustrations of various animal’s needs and activities: (1) lion and raven; (2) wild mountain goat and cervid doe; (3) wild donkey and rhinoceros; (4) ostrich and horse; (5) hawk and eagle; (6) Behemoth and Leviathan.