God speaks, at last, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” And he began to question Job, “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” (Job 38:8, 11).
There are 362 quintillion gallons of water in the ocean. That is 362 billion billion or 3.62×1020 or 362,000,000,000,000,000,000. Or 7,250,000,000,000,000,000 bathtubs or 15,000,000,000,000,000 swimming pools, if that makes it easier.
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?” (Job38:31, 33)
On a clear, moonless night, a few thousand stars are visible, of the 10,000,000,000 in the Milky Way galaxy. Some estimate there are 10 billion billion stars in the universe, but NASA put the number precisely at gazillions.
“Can you hunt the prey for the lion? Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the does? Who has let the wild donkey go free? Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey, is the wild ox willing to serve you? Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?” (Job 38:39; 39:1, 5, 9, 19, 26-27)
Estimates range from 5 million to 100 million different species on earth, but we’ve identified less than 2 million. Breaking this down into categories, zoologists come up with 20,000 species of fish, 6,000 species of reptiles, 9,000 of birds, 1,000 amphibians, and 15,000 species of mammals. The remaining millions are, you’ll be happy to know, insects and spiders. As to the total number of individual animals, the scientific estimate is, “I have absolutely no idea.”
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements–surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)
Job said nothing. Sometimes it is the right time to be quiet, be still, and know that He is God.
Creator God, what a world I live in, created by Your hands, Your Word, Your breath. What a delight to look at the heavens and think of You. I marvel at the myriad shapes and sizes of Your creatures. Look at us, man and woman, a reflection of Your image.
May I, God, never cease my amazement at Your creativity. May I be a good steward of what You have placed in my care. May I use all things as You intended, to ultimately glorify You.