Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you. Job 12:7
Our grandkids, enraptured, got a close-up look at a rescued bald eagle. They were even allowed to touch him. As the zoo volunteer told about the powerful bird perched on her arm, I was surprised to learn this male had a wingspan of about six and one-half feet, yet because of its hollow bones it weighed only about eight pounds.
This reminded me of the majestic eagle I had seen soaring above a lake, ready to swoop down and snatch its prey in its talons. And I pictured in my mind another big bird—the spindly legged blue heron I had spied standing motionless on the edge of a pond. It was poised to dart its long beak into the water. They’re just two among the nearly 10,000 species of birds that can direct our thoughts to our Creator.
In the book of Job, Job’s friends are debating the reasons for his suffering and ask, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?” (see 11:5–9). In response Job declares, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you” (Job 12:7). Animals testify to the truth that God designed, cares for, and controls His creation: “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (v. 10).
Since God cares for birds (Matthew 6:26; 10:29), we can be assured He loves and cares for you and me, even when we don’t understand our circumstances. Look around and learn of Him.
God’s world teaches us about Him.
By Alyson Kieda
Gaining a good grasp of the book of Job requires us to understand its literary structure. Though the book begins (chs. 1–2) and ends (42:7–16) in narrative format, the bulk of the book is comprised of speeches packaged in poetry (3:1–42:6), including the stunning monologue of the Almighty Himself (38:1–41:34). By the time the reader comes to chapter 12, all three of Job’s friends—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar—have spoken once. Two more series of speeches follow, and in the last series a fourth counselor (Elihu) enters the picture (chs. 32–37). In their well-ordered and reasoned speeches, each friend offers explanations for Job’s calamities and prescriptions for a remedy. Job himself is the speaker in chapter 12, where he indicts the denseness of his first three accusers. He directs them to nature which teaches us about the supremacy and sovereignty of God. In verses 7–8, the language of instruction is quite clear: Animals “will teach”; birds “will tell”; the earth “will teach”; the fish will “inform.” Without a word they witness to the wisdom and greatness of God.
Can you recall a time when you were prompted to reflect on God’s greatness by something in nature?