Today's Scripture Reading (August 5, 2021): Job 39
Richard Adams, in "Watership Down," his classic adventure novel about a group of anthropomorphized rabbits, writes, "A thing can be true and still be desperate folly." Truth never guarantees wisdom; sometimes, what is true is still the most foolish thing imaginable.
And that is the point that God is attempting to make. The tale of the ostrich is the only genuine attempt at humor in the book of Job. Amid Job's distress, it is as if God tries to bring a smile to the prophet's face. But it is humor and an example of outrageous behavior that is provided by the truth of nature. An ostrich is a funny beast. It is a bird that doesn't fly. And yet, it hilariously flaps its wings anyways. It lays the largest eggs of any living land animal, yet it does not guard its eggs or care for its young. Instead, the ostrich drives its young away from the nest before the onset of the next mating season. It is a ridiculous bird, and yet, it is real. But when an ostrich decides to run, it is in a class of its own. An ostrich can reach speeds of 70 km/h, and it laughs at most creatures who might try to run with it.
God's message to Job is that wisdom is a gift that comes only from him, and he gives it to whom he will and withholds it from others at his discretion. But that does not mean that God loves some more than others. Instead, God loves the ostrich, even though the bird is not just missing flight but also seems to be absent of any good sense. And yet, the ostrich is still his creation.
Mike Mason makes a wonderful observation about God's use of the ostrich in teaching Job about wisdom and the ways of God.
It was through wonderful and strange examples like that God both taught and entertained Job. "Get used to My absurdity, and live by faith rather than by sight. Be like the ostrich: though you cannot fly, you can still flap your wings joyfully!"
The message that God is trying to drive through to Job is don't worry about what you don't understand or what you cannot do. Just do what I (God) have designed you to do. Like the ostrich, find the areas where you excel, the places where I have gifted you, and run with everything that is inside you.
Tomorrow's Scripture Reading: Job 40