The Book of Job-Chapter Thirty-Seven:
Elihu has been scaring himself to
death in chapter 36 with a harsh image of the Lord and a
theology of dread that is very familiar to us in this book:
"At this also my heart trembleth, and
is moved out of his place."
This young man is actually a false teacher in my opinion. The New Testament is full of warnings from Christ and the Apostles about the dangers of false teachers. And here we see why. They always want you to join them and their approach. Elihu wants Job to get as terrified of God as he is:
Verse 2: "Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth."
C'mon Job, he says, just go along with the flow!
Have you ever felt the "tug" of false teaching, beloved? I have. We can learn from it, maybe use it as a bad example, but we must not get infected by it.
C'mon, Elihu is saying, you can't expect to get personal with God. You can see Him in nature (which is true, by the way!) but that is as close as we can come to Him.
Verses 3-7: "He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work."
Indirect evidence, Job. That's all you'll ever get from God. His results you can see, but the process is not knowable:
the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places. Out of
the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the
waters is straitened. Also by
watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his
bright cloud: And it
is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do
whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world
in the earth. He causeth it to come, whether for
correction, or for his land, or for mercy."
Don't be arrogant enough to think that you can reason with the Lord, Job.
Verses 14-17: "Hearken
this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works
of God. Dost
thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of
his cloud to shine? Dost
thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works
of him which is perfect in knowledge? How thy
garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south
I am guessing that maybe Elihu wasn't
liking the look on Job's face at this point. So he descends
Verses 18-19: "Hast
thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as
a molten looking glass? Teach us what we shall say unto him;
for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness."
Ridicule can be a sign of false
teaching. I need to remember this. Regardless of how pure I
feel my own doctrine and motives to be, the way I share them
is at least as important as what I believe the Lord wishes
me to share. Sometimes respectful silence is the best
ministry you can give a person.
Verses 20-24: "Shall
it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he
shall be swallowed up. And now
men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but
the wind passeth, and cleanseth them. Fair
weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible
Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in
power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will
not afflict. Men do therefore fear him: he
respecteth not any that are wise of heart."
Elihu, like Job's other friends, is
filled with spiritual cynicism. Will Job be joining him?
Nope. Not now, and not ever. Job has held out and held on
and now, finally, better things are coming.