Job continues his description of the greatness of God, now looking north and upward (verse 77“He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing.
). He sees the vast expanse of the universe. He looks north – the place from which God reigns (Isa 14:13-1413“But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
) – the northern ceiling of the heavens, which is like a curtain overhanging the expanse. In that vast expanse of emptiness, where nothing can be hanged on, the earth hangs. God has hung the globe “on nothing”.
That the earth “hangs” is an established fact. If Scripture mentions anything about creation, it is God’s truth. Scientific ‘truth’ is different. Scientific language is quickly outdated. Scientific conclusions have to be rewritten regularly because new insights destroy the previous ones. The Bible, inspired by God and therefore faultless, is not written in scientific language, but in everyday language and never needs to be changed. Everything God has said remains current for all ages and generations (2Tim 3:16-1716All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.).
Thus God also wraps up the waters together in the clouds (verse 88“He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.
; cf. Pro 30:44Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!), without the cloud tearing through its weight. It is God who gathers the fumes of the earth into thick clouds, as it were the jars of heaven (Job 38:3737“Who can count the clouds by wisdom,
Or tip the water jars of the heavens,
). It is His way of giving rain on earth wherever He wills (cf. Jer 10:1313When He utters His voice, [there is] a tumult of waters in the heavens,
And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the wind from His storehouses.
; Psa 104:33He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters;
He makes the clouds His chariot;
He walks upon the wings of the wind;
Above the clouds is God’s throne (verse 99“He obscures the face of the full moon
And spreads His cloud over it.
; cf. Psa 97:22Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
). Of course this is meant to be symbolic, because even without clouds the throne of God is invisible. The throne is the center from which creation is ruled (cf. Job 1:6-126Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.7The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”8The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”9Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?10Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.11But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”12Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.). Man, with all his knowledge and ability, is incapable of discovering Him. He also excludes God in his research into the origin and progress of the universe. He is willfully ignorant (2Pet 3:55For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God [the] heavens existed long ago and [the] earth was formed out of water and by water,). As a result, he has fallen into the foolishness of evolution theory.
God not only controls the water above the earth’s surface, but also the water on the earth’s surface (verse 1010“He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters
At the boundary of light and darkness.
). The water above the earth is held by God in clouds. The water on earth is held by God within the limits set by Him (Psa 104:99You set a boundary that they may not pass over,
So that they will not return to cover the earth.
; Jer 5:22b22‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the LORD.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
Also in another sense God has drawn a boundary over the surface of the water. That boundary is the horizon. We become aware of this when we stand on the shore of an ocean. If we look into the distance, we see the horizon. We cannot look any further. There is the boundary between the light sky and the dark sea, the boundary between the water in the cloud sky and the water in the sea.
Also the impressive, massive, unshakable mountains, rising high above the landscape and touching the heaven, are under His authority (verse 1111“The pillars of heaven tremble
And are amazed at His rebuke.
). They are poetically called “the pillars of heaven”, as if the heaven is resting on them. But when He rebukes them, and we might think of an earthquake, they tremble (Exo 19:1818Now Mount Sinai [was] all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.). Of all that imposing nothing remains. Only His majesty above all else is permanent.
Then there is also His power in the wind with which He whips up the sea (verse 1212“He quieted the sea with His power,
And by His understanding He shattered Rahab.
; Psa 107:2525For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
; Isa 51:1515For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name).; Jer 31:3535Thus says the LORD,
Who gives the sun for light by day
And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
The LORD of hosts is His name:
). With the same authority He also restrains the wind and causes “the storm to be still” (Psa 107:2929He caused the storm to be still,
So that the waves of the sea were hushed.
). What is attributed to God here we see the Lord Jesus doing in the Gospels (Mt 8:2626He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.; Mk 4:3939And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.). It is one of the many proofs that the Lord Jesus is God.
God is not only great in His omnipotence and majesty, but also in His clearness (verse 1313“By His breath the heavens are cleared;
His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.). The Spirit of God gives that clearness in heaven. We see the clearness of the sky, the clouds, the heavenly bodies. David is deeply impressed by it: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained” (Psa 8:33When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
). God creates, controls and delivers (Isa 27:11In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
With His fierce and great and mighty sword,
Even Leviathan the twisted serpent;
And He will kill the dragon who [lives] in the sea.
; Rev 20:22And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;).
That clearness was lost by “the quick [or: fleeing] serpent”, the devil (Rev 12:99And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.), when he brought sin into the world. But God is in Christ the Victor over the devil. He will renew the surface of the earth (Psa 104:3030You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the ground.
) and restore creation to its original clearness. Then the devil will be bound and the corruption of creation will be taken away (Rom 8:2121that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.).