God comes near and Job, who basically can't stop talking up until now, can say nothing.
His friends, who claimed to know God, his purposes, and his thoughts, are silent.
God comes near, and the men stop.
This is the holy, magnificent, awesome God who set the world in place, who judges and rewards men for their acts, whose acts are untraceable, whose ways cannot be understood.
Suddenly the men recognize that everything that has been said to this point is meaningless. They have spoken for God, put words in his mouth, and those words were wrong.
The Lord asks, "Would you discredit my justice?"
"Do you think you can do better? Go ahead. Unleash the fury of your wrath, Job . . .
If you can."
Confronted by the power of God, Job surrenders his soul to the One who made him, formed him, loved him.
He submits his life to God, and says, "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours will fail. I thought I knew you, but I didn't know anything. I'm sorry. I didn't know."
None of us do, really.
Why do we suffer?
Why do we experience pain?
Why do we lose jobs and struggle with finances?
Why do we lose people we love?
I don't know.
But in this passage, we see that God's presence brings peace and clarity. It brings change of perspective.
When we recognize who God is, not the God we create out of our own wisdom, but the God we see in the Old and New Testament, when we experience his presence, then we willingly surrender our lives to Him. Just as Job did.
On to Jeremiah.