By Elizabeth Prata
I’m sure you have read (and admired) the following verse from Job a million times. But have you ever considered the prophetic aspects of this powerfully packed scripture? Job 38 is the climactic chapter where God speaks to Job about His own sovereignty over creation, time, and over all the peoples of earth.
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22-23)
Have you ever noticed the phrase, “the time of trouble”? Other translations say reserved for “the time of distress”. You will also notice the reference to “the day” of battle and war. These are standard phrases referring to the days of the Tribulation. (For example, Jeremiah 30:7, Obadiah 1:14, Joel 2:11).
God has used hail before in judgment and He will do so again. In the past, He used hail during the plagues He sent to Pharaoh, in themselves pictures of the Revelation judgments of the coming Tribulation.
“The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And the hail struck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field“. (Exodus 9:25)
The future judgment will contain another plague of hail-
And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. (Revelation 16:21)
Gill’s Exposition says of the Job 38 verse,
Of hail we have instances in Scripture, as employed against the Egyptians and Canaanites, Exodus 9:25; and of a reserve of it in the purposes of God, and in prophecy against the day of battle with antichrist, Revelation 16:21.
And though there are no instances of snow being used in this way in Scripture, yet there is in history. Strabo reports, that at Corzena and Cambysena, which join to Mount Caucasus, such snows have fallen, that whole companies of men have been swallowed up in them; and even armies have been overwhelmed with them, as the army of the Gauls and such quantities have been thrown down from mountains, on which they have been lodged, that towns, towers, and villages, have been laid prostrate by them and in the year 443, a vast snow destroyed many.
I am so awed by prophecy. The (probably) oldest book of the Bible, Job, (~2000 BC?)contains a prophecy that is parallel to the last book of the Bible, Revelation (~90AD). God has His plan and who can thwart it? He has set aside some for eternal condemnation and others for eternal joy. He has stored aside His wrath to be unleashed upon them, and hail will be part of that stored-up unleashing. He is precise and will do what He says and it will come to pass to the Nth degree.
The Bible is awe-inspiring in its depiction of our God, who authored it and revealed to us what He wants us to know. Part of that knowing is seeing His prophetic mind and His plans come to pass. I praise Him for all His plans, ways, perfections, prophecies.
The purpose of prophecy is:
The disclosing of the will and purposes of God through inspired or Spirit-filled human beings. The OT emphasises the importance of prophecy as a means of knowing God. Many OT prophecies find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ.
Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.
1. Contents of Prophecy
That which is given by the Spirit to the prophet can refer to the past and to the present as well as to the future. However, that which is revealed to the prophet finds its inner unity in this, that it all aims to establish the supremacy of Jehovah. Prophecy views also the detailed events in their relation to the Divine plan, and this latter has for its purpose the absolute establishment of the supremacy of Jehovah in Israel and eventually on the entire earth.
von, O. C. (1915). Prophecy, Prophets. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2464). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.
Above all, prophecy shows who is LORD over all creation. It points to Jesus. It is history unfolding as it was laid down from the beginning. The LORD has stored up hail and snow, reserved for the day of distress. He will do it.
The Institute for Creation Research has a great intro to Job: Introduction to the book of Job – “It contains more references to Creation, the Flood and other primeval events than any book of the Bible except Genesis, and provides more insight into the age-long conflict between God and Satan than almost any other book. Remarkably, it also seems to contain more modern scientific insights than any other book of the Bible.”
Chuck Swindoll, Job, “Instead of asking where God is in the midst of your pain, the book of Job affirms God’s control and asks us, “Where are we in our pain? Are we trusting our Creator, even though we cannot understand our circumstances?”
Grace to You, “The Book of Job, “The author recounts an era in the life of Job, in which he was tested and the character of God was revealed. New Testament writers directly quote Job two times (Rom. 11:35; 1 Cor. 3:19), plus Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and James 5:11 show Job was a real person.”