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Elihu in this chapter concludes his sermon, and a noble sermon it is, Having in the preceding part of it shown the goodness, rectitude, wisdom, and mercy of the Lord, he here closeth with offering some highly finished thoughts upon the unsearchableness of his divine doings in his dispensations towards the children of men.
(1) ¶ At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. (2) Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. (3) He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. (4) After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. (5) God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.
Elihu is here reasoning from the wonders of GOD'S works in the world of nature, in bringing the lightning and rains out of his treasures. And Elihu seems to intimate, that though these are produced, by the LORD'S appointment, from natural causes, yet the world ought to hear the voice of GOD in them, and by them. Witness the LORD'S descent on Mount Sinai, which was accompanied with thunders, and lightenings, and other tremendous signs, to intimate the divine presence. Exodus 19:16-20 . And the Apostle was commissioned by the HOLY GHOST to teach the Church, that those awful signs were figurative also of the alarming nature of the dispensation of the law, to show the gracious and mild dispensation, contrasted to it, in the gospel. Hebrews 12:18-24 .
(6) ¶ For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. (7) He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.
How beautiful an account is this of GOD'S Work! and how evident is it from these words, that GOD expects men should take account of his grace and mercy, in thus sending upon the earth the different weathers, as tokens of his bounty and love. Doth GOD shut up the windows of heaven? What is this but to bring his people to a mercy seat, as Elias was brought to watch GOD'S appointment, and to ask his mercy. Doth he send us fruitful seasons to fill our hearts with food and gladness: what is this but to fill our souls also with love and praise. Reader, suppose we were to spiritualize these natural blessings, and look through them to Him, who is said to come down upon the minds and hearts of his people, like rain upon the mown grass. Psalms 72:6 . And who, after the snow and the frost are gone up from the wintry seasons of his church, invites his people to come away with him, when he hath visited their souls with a renewed spring, because the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone. Song of Solomon 2:10-11 .
(8) Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places. (9) Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north. (10) By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. (11) Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud: (12) 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. (13) He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.
Here are the same traces of GOD'S power pointed to, in the effect and operation of winds, and their constant ministration, by his appointment. All which, were our minds not dullness itself, would unceasingly lead us to the contemplation of GOD. Perhaps there is not a subject so general among all ranks and orders of people, as that of weather. It becomes the usual subject as we pass the street, or in the house; what a fine day, or what a rainy day; it is today. But how seldom do we hear serious observations added to the conversation, how gracious the LORD is in the appointment. Reader, let you and I never converse on the weather without connecting with it our humble and devout acknowledgment of Him and his mercy, in the different appointments of the weather, who gathereth the winds (as the wise man expresseth it) in his fists, and hath bounded the waters in his garment. Proverbs 30:4 . And, in a more spiritual sense, let the winds of the north, and the south, here spoken of, lead our minds to the recollection of the divine breathing of the HOLY GHOST, concerning whose gracious operations upon the hearts of his people, the Redeemer calls for the manifestation of his blessed office, in desiring the north wind, and the south wind, to blow upon the garden, which is the church of JESUS, that the spices may flow; and that then the Church's beloved, even JESUS himself, will come into his garden, and eat of his pleasant fruits. Song of Solomon 4:16 .
(14) ¶ Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. (15) Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine? (16) Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge? (17) How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind? (18) Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass? (19) Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness. (20) Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up. (21) ¶ And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them. (22) Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty. (23) Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. (24) Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart.
Elihu, having very fully set forth GOD'S sovereignty, wisdom, and goodness, now calls upon Job to pause over the whole, and with a more sober coolness, and dispassion, see how utterly unsuitable and unbecoming it must be, in any of GOD'S creatures, to presume to scan his works, or to become unsatisfied with any of his appointments. There is a vast deal of sound reasoning and argument in the whole of Elihu's discourse both as it is referred to the reproof of Job, and his three friends: and it should seem, from the silence of both Job and them, they were all much more calm and temperate, in consequence of Elihu's sermon, than before.
READER, it is highly profitable to follow, with our profound meditation, the Lord in all his works of nature, and to be ever ready to bless him for all the goodness he is unceasingly bestowing upon the sons of men. He maketh (as our adorable Redeemer teacheth) his sun to rise, upon the evil and upon the good: and sendeth the blessings of his rain both upon the just and upon the unjust. Oh! that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!
But when from the world of nature we are enabled to follow the LORD into the world of grace; and when, from the common blessings of his providence, in creation, we are led to behold the special blessings of his love, in redemption, this is like passing from the outer courts of his temple into the more immediate apartment of his presence. And, in JESUS, what a vast and unlimited contemplation is thrown open to a poor sinner's view.
Reader, cannot you tell (as Elihu beautifully expresseth it) how your garments make you warm, when the LORD quieteth the earth by the south wind? And will you any longer wonder that you are not able to explain how it is, that the robe of JESUS'S righteousness becomes a complete justifying garment, to warm the soul of a sinner, and to make him, that is in himself unclean, yet now viewed in CHRIST, holy, blessed, and sanctified? Oh that men should be unbelievers in a point of so much mercy, when their daily experience in the most common things of GOD'S providence, compels them to give a cordial assent to what they can no more explain, than how warmth or cold is induced by north and south influences!
But Reader, let you and I, from the reasoning of Elihu, not only gather improvement, both in the subjects of nature and grace, but look up to the same Almighty Teacher, which teacheth us, to profit, that from both our souls may be led on to the yet higher and more sublime point of all the same precious mercies and dispensations of our Covenant GOD in CHRIST, leading to glory. All here below is with a view to minister to this end. For this cause the Son of GOD came down from heaven to raise up our ruined nature from the miseries of the fall. And when by sin, storms and tempests, both in the natural, in the moral, and in the spiritual world, were introduced, JESUS, full of benignity, grace, and truth, came to repair the desolations of many generations, and to restore perfect order among all the works of GOD. Hail thou great, thou Almighty Repairer of the breach! the Restorer of the paths to dwell in! We bow down before thee, thou blessed precious LORD JESUS! Oh! do thou give us to see, that both in the kingdom of nature and providence, grace and glory, thou art the All in All, the portion of thy people, here and hereafter, and their life forevermore.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 37". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter