This is Job’s longest speech thus far and when he finishes, his three friends are silenced.
It’s not so much that he has silenced them with his arguments as they have run out of gas themselves. They’ve offered their explanations – but no comfort. In fact, Zophar, likely the oldest of the three, never replies again to Job after his second time.
Chapter twenty-six begins this long speech with brief sarcasm at Bildad’s brief speech, then launches into what one writer has called “one of the grandest recitals in the whole book.” As you will see beginning in chapter thirty-eight, Job’s words sound very much like God’s at this point. With poetic majesty, Job hints at the power of God in creation. He makes an allusion to the Canaanite idea of a great dragon or sea monster being killed in the process of creation (from which the fullness of the earth sprang in the Canaanite stories) but the whole thing is but a poem to the greatness of God. Surprisingly, Job’s discussion of creation is very brief, leaving out mention of the plants and animals and sea creatures. But job does this on purpose, choosing to remind the reader that though what he mentions are wondrous acts, these are only the outer fringes of the story. There is so very much more.
That Job mentions creation is a reminder that a significant part of the theology of the Bible, in presenting the greatness of God, centers on the creation. Without getting too involved in the creation vs. evolution controversy, whatever we believe about how God created the world, we absolutely must believe that He did it; and that it did not come about by “natural” processes. Job’s God, though Job admits to neither understanding Him nor agreeing with him, is a great God.
So is ours, for the two are the same.