Throughout the LORD’s lengthy questioning of Job, He provides numerous examples from nature to demonstrate His own power through the power of His creation. In Job 39 he includes a series of illustrations referring to various animals that we tend to take for granted. At both the beginning and ending of the Disney movie Secretariat, the script referred to this very section’s description of a horse. The LORD declared, “Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder? Can you frighten him like a locust? His majestic snorting strikes terror. He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He gallops into the clash of arms. He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; Nor does he turn back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, The glittering spear and javelin. He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded. At the blast of the trumpet he says, ‘Aha!’ He smells the battle from afar, The thunder of captains and shouting” (Job 39:19-25). This is no horse race. Instead, the LORD here places the horse in the midst of battle—an interesting tidbit for ancient history dating back around four thousand years. Even then, horses were a mainstay in battle, as they would continue to be until about a hundred years ago. However, the specific honor given the horse in this paragraph deserves greater attention.
The horse is a tremendously powerful animal, able to pull tremendous weight because of its build. Rather than being easily frightened, a horse is more likely to strike fear as it approaches. While men may fear the approach of battle, a horse cannot wait to charge forward into the fray. Despite all of the accoutrements of war thrashing about, the battle steed runs swiftly toward an opposing army. A horse in battle is there for the fight and has no quit in him. What a description! And yet, the context of war matters greatly for the LORD’s point to Job. A horse has qualities that few men possess. But most importantly, man enjoys all that the horse can do and employs the horse with great benefit in battle, but man did not create the horse.
Men assume great honor in both learning about and using practically all that the universe makes possible, but in so doing men tend to confuse the ability to take advantage of these things and the ability to create these things. The story detailing how early astronomers mapped the sky and thus made extensive navigation possible is incredible, but astronomers did not create the stars. Scientists’ efforts to map DNA, test DNA, and use DNA are amazing, but scientists did not create DNA. NASA’s work to put men on the moon is the stuff of legend, but NASA did not create the moon or even the fuel that took men to the moon. Like Job, all men should step back and realize the limitations that actually dominate human life. With all that man has accomplished, this actually falls within a very narrow scope designed by God from the beginning. We may have learned to use the information, raw materials, and living creatures that exist upon the earth, but we did not create them. This distinction deserves greater prominence not only in society as a whole but in every person’s mindset as we live and work upon this sphere that is the LORD’s.