In Job chapter 37, Elihu goes on to expound upon God’s greatness. His goal? Help Job recognize his own ignorance, the right, and the reign of his Creator in all things.
“At this also my heart trembles
and leaps out of its place.
2 Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
3 Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
4 After it his voice roars;
he thunders with his majestic voice,
and he does not restrain the lightnings when his voice is heard.
5 God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend. ~Job 37:1-5
Elihu begins by stating carefully his own fear of God. He describes the hand of God in nature – in humanity, in the animal kingdom, in the weather.
But didn’t Job know this already? Hadn’t he displayed a great and holy fear of God in his own life through faithfulness, service, and obedience?
He had. But Elihu points to what was lacking in that faithfulness, service, and obedience.
“…he does great things that we cannot comprehend.”
Job, in his misery, had exchanged his fear of God for a desperate desire to understand. He knew God was sovereign. He believed God was in control. Job just couldn’t stop questioning God’s methods. Job wasn’t sure if the God in whom he wholly believed was wholly believable. He wondered where God’s compassion for him lie and he raised more than a little doubt about the goodness of the motives underlying God’s providence.
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. On all charges, I’m with you Job. I have spent my entire life wondering where God really is, who he really is, and what he is really doing. Of course I believe in him. Often, I just do not believe him. That’s a problem. Father, forgive me, I know not what I do, or worse, I do know.
“It is good for us to be made sensible of our own ignorance,” once said Matthew Henry. Elihu is good for that. Thank God for people like him.
In verses 13-24 of Job 37, Elihu cross-examines Job. His speech goes a little something like this: God has a plan, Job. Sometimes it is to correct men. Sometimes it is to bless them. Sometimes it is simply to display his great love. How could you possibly know what God is doing all the time? Do you know how he commands the clouds? Do you understand how he makes lightning? Can you do all that he does?
No. No. No. No. No, you cannot. So why do you think #1. you deserve to and #2. you are able to understand what God is doing to or through your own life? You are a debtor, Job, but God loves you anyway. All that he does is out of love for you. You neither deserve nor are able to understand these things. Stop trying. God opposes the proud.
He loved me ere I knew him, and all my love is due him. Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Despite all I do not know, this is enough. Understanding can wait for glory. Right now, I have an all-consuming call from and an insurmountable debt to my Savior concerning love.