Job Chapter Thirty-Seven
Elihu here goes on to explain the wonderful power of God in the meteors and all the changes of the weather: if, in those changes we submit to the will of God, take the weather as it is and make the best of it, why should we not do so in other changes in our condition? Here he observes the hand of God, in thunder and lightening, in the frost and snow, the rains and wind. He applies it to Job, and challenges him to solve the phenomena of these works of nature, that confessing his ignorance in them, he might admit that he is an incompetent judge in the proceedings of divine providence. Then Elihu concludes with his principle, which he undertook to make out, that God is great and to be feared greatly.
Read Job 37:1-5
v1-2. “AT THIS ALSO MY HEART TREMBLETH, AND IS MOVED OUT OF HIS PLACE. HEAR ATTENTIVELY THE NOISE OF HIS VOICE, AND THE SOUND that GOETH OUT OF HIS MOUTH.”
This chapter is a continuation of chapter 36 and is divided only because men devised the chapter and verse divisions. Elihu himself was affected by the glory of God displayed in thunder and lightening and now uses that analogy to try to affect Job in the same way.
v3. “HE DIRECTETH IT UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, AND HIS LIGHTNING UNTO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.”
God directs the thunder, and the lightening is his, their production and motion are not from chance, but from the counsel of God and under the direction and dominion of his providence, though to us they seem accidental and ungovernable.
v4. “AFTER IT A VOICE ROARETH: HE THUNDERETH WITH THE VOICE OF HIS EXCELLENCY; AND HE WILL NOT STAY THEM WHEN HIS VOICE IS HEARD.”
The thunder he calls the voice of God’s excellency because by it he proclaims his transcendental power and greatness. He will not stay them, that is, he will not hold them back, lest they get out of control, but because of his power to restrain them they follow a true course that he set in place once for all time.
v5. “GOD THUNDERETH MARVELLOUSLY WITH HIS VOICE; GREAT THINGS DOETH HE, WHICH WE CANNOT COMPREHEND.”
Since God, with his voice, thunders so greatly we must then conclude that all of his works are just as great and that they are such as we cannot comprehend. Then from this we conclude that, in the dispensation of his providence, there is that which is too great, too strong, for us to oppose or strive against, and too high and too deep for us to quarrel with.
Read Job 37:6-13
v6. “FOR HE SAITH TO THE SNOW, BE THOU on THE EARTH; LIKEWISE TO THE SMALL RAIN, AND TO THE GREAT RAIN OF HIS STRENGTH.”
God commissions that benefit provided by the weather, he commands it, he appoints it, where it shall be light and how long it will lie. He speaks and it is done.
v7. “HE SEALETH UP THE HAND OF EVERY MAN; THAT ALL MEN MAY KNOW HIS WORK.”
By the effects of weather God controls, to an extent, what man can and does do. When it rains, it’s too wet to plow, in the coming of frost and snow we are restricted as to planting and sometimes even traveling. So thereby God controls the hands of man and man should recognize His power and works.
v8. “THEN THE BEASTS GO INTO DENS, AND REMAIN IN THEIR PLACES.”
The beasts created by God know this by instinct and know when to go to their dens or stay in their places of shelter. Man, as we know, looks to beasts and fowls to help him understand what the kind of weather may be coming the next day or in the next few hours.
v9. “OUT OF THE SOUTH COMETH THE WHIRLWIND: AND COLD OUT OF THE NORTH.”
Some translations read, out of the hidden place comes the whirlwind. And as we know the wind blows from different directions and usually brings different effects depending upon which direction it’s blowing.
v10. “BY THE BREATH OF GOD FROST IS GIVEN: AND THE BREADTH OF THE WATERS IS STRAITENED.”
the word or power of God’s command we have frost and the cold of the winter
season when the waters freeze or in the words of Elihu become straitened.
v11. “ALSO BY WATERING HE WEARIETH THE THICK CLOUD: HE SCATTERETH HIS BRIGHT CLOUD:”
God allows the black clouds heavy with water to spend themselves, weary themselves by loosing their rain, the bright clouds are scattered by the wind.
v12. “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.”
All of this is governed by the counsel of God, even those things which may seem insignificant and happenstance.
v13. “HE CAUSETH IT TO COME, WHETHER FOR CORRECTION, OR FOR HIS LAND, OR FOR MERCY.”
God sometimes uses weather as a punishment to bring his people to obedience.
Amos 4:7-8 “AND ALSO I HAVE WITHHOLDEN THE RAIN FROM
YOU, WHEN there were YET THREE MONTHS TO THE HARVEST: AND I CAUSED IT TO
RAIN UPON ONE CITY, AND CAUSED IT NOT TO RAIN UPON ANOTHER CITY: ONE PIECE WAS
RAINED UPON, AND THE PIECE WHEREUPON IT RAINED NOT WITHERED. SO TWO or THREE CITIES WANDERED UNTO
Read Job 37:14-20
v14-17. “HEARKEN UNTO 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 wind?”
Now he turns and makes application of this to Job. Job, consider the power and majesty of God as displayed in his control of the conditions brought about by weather on this earth. How can you understand and accept them without understanding and accepting all of the other manifestations of God’s providence? We don’t know what orders or directions God gives these things but we know without doubt that God does control them. Therefore we should also recognize that God controls all other things about this earth as well, including the blessings and afflictions that are laid upon mankind.
v18. “HAST THOU WITH HIM SPREAD OUT THE SKY, which is STRONG, and AS A MOLTEN LOOKING GLASS?”
Job were you with God and helped him spread out the sky, of course, Elihu knows the answer is no.
v19-20. “TEACH US WHAT WE SHALL SAY UNTO HIM; for WE CANNOT ORDER our speech BY REASON OF DARKNESS. SHALL IT BE TOLD HIM THAT I SPEAK? IF A MAN SPEAK, SURELY HE SHALL BE SWALLOWED UP.”
Elihu challenges Job to be the director of the forces of nature, tell them what to do. Since Job has the mind to reason with God, to complain to God because of his lot, would have his friends contend with God on his behalf, to advise them the words that they should say, then he must be able to order the forces of nature as well. When we have done all we can for God we must acknowledge that we are unprofitable servants and have nothing to boast of. And if we speak presumptuously, God’s wrath will soon consume us, or swallow us up.
Read Job 37:21-24
v21-24. “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 MAJESTY. 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. MEN DO THEREFORE FEAR HIM: HE RESPECTETH NOT ANY that are WISE OF HEART.”
Elihu brings his discourse to a conclusion with some short sayings concerning the glory of God. He is impressed, as we all should be of God’s power, might and glory, he stands in awe of God as all men should and wishes those who are listening to him to do so as well. He is apparently aware that God is about to speak and hurries on with his few last words. He tells how the clouds hide the bright light of the sun and then the wind passes and cleanses the sky. How God in his majesty brings fair weather out of the north, true even here in this locale. The power, judgment, and justice of God is perfect and perfectly administered; we cannot understand his providence and how it works and have difficulty, I might add, even with that portion that is revealed. He will not alter his counsels; he will not change the outcome of his providence to accommodate man. Sooner or later man will fear God; stand in awe of his majesty, if not in this world then definitely in the next.