“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the does? Can you number the months that they fulfill, and do you know the time when they give birth, when they crouch, bring forth their offspring, and are delivered of their young? (Job 39:1-3 ESV)
The immensity of the difference between us and God cannot be adequately portrayed with words. The chasm of wisdom that separates a full-grown man from a little boy may be large, yet it is nothing compared to the Grand Canyon that separates our wisdom from God’s. Even if one were to live for a thousand years and spend half of this time pursuing one hundred PhD degrees from the world’s greatest universities, this would still not compare to the wisdom of God. But even if we could spend an eternity learning from God’s infinite wisdom, we would still fall short of competing with Him, for we will never be able to replicate His omniscience.
When we read these verses in Job, we should not think that the Almighty is clueless as to the breeding habits of mountain goats. God’s questions in the Bible are never a probe for information, but calculated verbal thrusts designed to provoke us to think. And whether this is “Where are you, Adam?” or “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?” the questioning of the Creator serves to stop the mouths of His creatures who are often too quick to speak, grumble, and complain.
How matchless is the depth of God’s wisdom and insight! In a few short sentences, He throws down the gauntlet and dares every human being alive to measure up to His unrivaled and meticulous scrutiny of this world. Who knows where the mountain goat gives birth in the crags of the rocks? Who knows which trimester the doe is in as she carries her young fawn? Who knows when the moment of delivery arrives for a heavily pregnant four-legged mammal hidden in the depths of the forest? Though you and I have no idea whatsoever—nor would we even care—God knows. Such a detail which is seemingly insignificant and wholly unknown to us, is not insignificant to God, nor is it unknown to Him. Not a sparrow of the field will fall to the ground apart our Father (Matt 10:29), and neither does anything, no matter how seemingly unimportant, happen to us apart from the hand of our God.
Christian, do you realize that the God you serve is fully aware of the timing of the birthing activities of the animals of this world? Do you think about the fact that He observes each one while simultaneously observing your life? Does God’s answer to this man who has lost his entire family, fortune and health stun you?
The greatest response that God can give to our heart-wrenching trials is NOT to tell us WHY we are suffering, but to remind us of WHO He is! The reason we complain is not because our trials are too difficult but because we have forgotten the One who gave them to us. God does not lead His people into the wilderness to destroy them, but to test and strengthen them.
Do you know when the mountain goat gives birth, Christian? Then, lay your hand across your mouth and say, “I am of small account (Job 40:4). I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, therefore I repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:3-6).” And when you have repented of your Israelite grumbling, humble yourself before the Lord and put your trust in Him. And at the proper time, He will comfort you with His very own presence and exalt you.