Advent 2022: Wed 7 Dec

Job 38:1-7

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

‘Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

‘Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Job is getting some come-uppance from God. God asserts his omnipotence, authority and glory. He gives Job a roasting over presumptuousness on his part. Does Job have special knowledge about the way the earth was created? Was he there? No, of course he wasn’t, and he knows nothing about these things.

God reveals that the angels were there, rejoicing at the beautiful creation. They were not there at the beginning, so if we take the creation story literally, the rejoicing angels can have been only a few days old! This makes no difference because angels were angels from the moment of their creation. God did not create baby angels and wait for them grow up to maturity. He created fully sentient and cognisant beings. Angels are not flesh and blood, and they do not age or decay. They are eternal spiritual beings.

The writer of Job may have been poetic when he or she described the morning stars as singing together, but this may have been exactly how it was. Who can tell?! There is no doubt, however, that the angels did shout for joy as God laid down the foundations of this earth. It’s not until this passage that we discover that angels were there this early on in the creation story.

Do angels always shout their praises, or do they ever sing? Don’t assume – check it out!

Do angels play musical instruments? Ditto the above

Father God, when I consider in the Creation story that you “made the stars also”, I am, like the Psalmist, open-mouthed in wonder at the extravagant (but never wasteful) wonder of the starry heavens, and I, crowned with glory and honour, shout out my praise and worship in the night-time at the work of your hands. Amen.

All creatures of our God and king

Angels singing?