Elihu says that his heart pounds and leaps as he listens to God"s voice in nature in a raging storm. One clap of thunder leaves Elihu"s heart in his mouth.
Thunder is a reminder to man that God is present, that He rules this world and such a reminder is universal (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20). "Brilliant bursts of lightning illuminate His majesty to the very ends of the earth" (Zuck p. 74).
Yes, all of this is beyond man"s comprehension. God will make the same point to Job in the next chapters (38-41), that is, if Job is ignorant of even how God governs the physical creation, then why is Job complaining about how God governs on the moral and spiritual level?
God is in charge of the snow and the rain. He "seals the hand of every man", that is, He causes the cessation of work in the fields that human attention might be directed to the Creator. God still does this today! Look at how the weather can completely bring a city to a stand still. "Even today it (snow) can snarl traffic and keep people confined to their homes" (Zuck p. 159). "That all men may know His work": Is this what we do during times of winter storms? Do we complain about the weather, or do we contemplate and stand in awe of God"s power? The animals go into hibernation when storms come.
God can make ice and freeze lakes and rivers by the mere breath of His mouth.
Clouds are filled and emptied by God, and they can change direction at His command. "Mark Twain"s quip that "everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it" is still true. He is in control!" (Jackson p. 75). To this day, man stands just as helpless as he did in Job"s time in the face of the weather. In addition, we need to remember that at times God sends rain where no man lives, that God does things that are kind that no one knows about.
Thus God can use nature for His purposes, either of judgment or mercy. This infers that God can also use pain and suffering for the same purposes.
Job is now exhorted to stand and consider, to be still in reverence, and contemplate the following questions concerning God"s wonders. In this section Elihu will use a series of questions to remind Job of his inadequacies in knowledge.
Does Job know how God controls the lightning and makes it flash?
Does Job know how God could balance or suspend the clouds in the air when they are so heavy with water? Yes, these are the wonders created by One perfect in knowledge.
Did he know why his garments were hot in the sultry air that the hot wind from the south produced in the summer desert.
Nor is Job able, like God, to spread out the skies. "Mirrors were made of bronze that had been heated, flattened, and polished. The cloudless summer sky appeared to be such a mirror" (Zuck p. 160). In using such language it would be unfair to claim that Elihu believed that the sky was an actual mirror or that it was made of solid material. Jackson reminds us that the term "firmament" means that which is spread out, the expanse, and it is not fair to charge the original inspired writers with believing in the unscientific notion of a solid sky.
Elihu now challenges Job to tell him what he should say if he dared approach God. Remember, Job had declared that he wanted to meet with God and present his case (13:18), Elihu reminds Job that he is unable to explain everyday physical events, how is Job ever going to tell God how to run the universe? Elihu also makes the point that no man is able to argue with God because of man"s limited knowledge. We are in darkness concerning so many things.
To insist on speaking with God as Job had claimed (10:2; 13:3,22), would only result in being swallowed up. Such a supposed self-defense that Job wanted would only result in his self-destruction.
If puny man cannot even look at the sun in its brightness without being blinded, how can any man hope to endure in God"s presence?
God"s splendor is compared to and greater than when the sun is cleared of clouds by an northern wind. Some feel that Elihu is mentioning the Aurora Borealis in this verse, and that God"s majesty is far beyond anything we see in this world.
Man cannot summon God, God is exalted in power, and He will never do violence to justice, something that Job complained about. "Whatever, therefore, may be said of Job"s affliction, Elihu wants him to know that it did not come from the Creator"s injustice" (Jackson p. 76).
Therefore, truly wise men submit to God and stand in awe of Him. In contrast, God is not impressed with the wise of heart, that is, "the wishes of those who would have Him submit His conduct to their scrutiny, or who demand that He answer their questions" (p. 76). Job himself has said that wise men fear God (28:28), but he had forgotten that such fear means respecting God and having trust in His decisions.
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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 37". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany