5/22/14 “Consider the Wondrous Works of God” (Daily Bible Reading: Job 35-38)

Listen to this, O Job; stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. Do you know when God dispatches them, and causes the light of His cloud to shine? Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” (Job 37:14-16)

Elihu had been filled with wrath because Job had justified himself rather than God (Job 32:2). Elihu appears to have believed in the midst of his great suffering Job was losing his perspective on who he was and who God was. By Job’s statements, Elihu perceived Job was arguing, as do many wicked people, there is no profit in serving God. Elihu states, “What man is like Job, who drinks scorn like water, who goes in company with the workers of iniquity, and walks with wicked men? For he has said, 'It profits a man nothing that he should delight in God’” (Job 34:7-9).

Elihu feels the need to defend God’s character against Job’s statements and show Job why he should “delight in God” even in the midst of his affliction. Elihu states, “"Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to commit iniquity. For He repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way. Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert justice” (Job 34:10-12).

Unlike Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar who had the audacity to try to speak for God and say Job’s suffering was the result of God’s chastening of Job for his sins, Elihu does not feel the need to try to put himself in God’s shoes and speak for God. Elihu doesn’t accuse Job of having committed great sin. In fact, Elihu desires to justify Job against these false charges by Job’s 3 friends: “"Give ear, Job, listen to me; Hold your peace, and I will speak. If you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you” (Job 33:31-32). However, while Elihu does accuse Job of committing some great evil, he will not stand idly by and listen to Job accuse God of unrighteousness and injustice!

Through much of his speech Elihu will focus on God and His wonderful works. Elihu speaks of how God knows everything that is happening: “"For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves” (Job 34:21-22). He speaks of God’s might and His justice: “"Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not preserve the life of the wicked, but gives justice to the oppressed” (Job 36:5-6). Elihu also reminds Job that the ways of God are far beyond our ability to comprehend: “"Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered. For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy?” (Job 36:26-29).

I believe there is some great wisdom in these words of Elihu, I can apply to my life. When I or someone I care about is suffering and we are facing the temptation to think God has forgotten us and is not treating us fair, we need to stop and meditate on all the wonderful works of God (i.e. God’s might, justice, His all-seeing eye). We need to remember the simple truth that God’s ways are so far greater than our ability to comprehend. Today, when facing the temptation to think God has forgotten me, I will strive to consider all the wonderful works of God!

As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart" (Job 37:23-24).