Job 35-37

The Approaching Storm

Elihu continues speaking to these four men but the focus is more on Job in Chapter 35.  In the first few verses he has some things for them to consider. There has been a storm blowing in and in verse 5 he points out that the clouds are higher than they are. The implication is that God too, is much higher than they are, much higher than their pride can possibly elevate them. In verse 7 he points out that they are a witness to others whether they do righteousness or evil. We need to learn this as well. In the balance of the chapter he makes it clear that although Job desires to present his case before God the reality is that Job already has pled his case and we are now awaiting the verdict.  The bottom line is that the self-focus of pride deceives us and blinds us to who God really is.

As they await the verdict Elihu works to break through this blindness by describing who God is in comparison to man in Chapter 36&37. Elihu begins by making a charge that all four have been judging God. This is the result of pride that exalts self. They have God in a box that says if we do this then God will do that. Job has said I did do this, and God didn’t do that, so He owes me. In this their pride has blinded them to who God is because they are looking at the works and righteousness defined by man.  In Chapter 36:24 Elihu tries to get them, and especially Job, to refocus. “Remember that you should exalt His work, of which men have sung.” NASB

The charge Elihu is making is that they are exalting what they have done not who God is. The next point Elihu makes is that God is not only God, but He is also the Judge and using the approaching storm, Elihu says to them, that judgement is on the horizon. This leads us into Chapter 37.  Indeed, Elihu is right. There is a storm coming and God is certainly going to have something to say to Job and his friends.

The trials we face in life may well be preparing us and warning us of what is coming. When we have a right perspective on these trials we think of them as a wakeup call. Often times we get so caught up in the here and now that we lose sight of God and who He really is. Elihu tells Job in Chapter 37 to listen closely to the sound of God’s voice as the storm gets closer and stronger. In verse 14 Elihu says, “Listen to this, O Job, Stand and consider the wonders of God.” NASB

Job is going to get the chance to consider the wonders of God starting in the next chapter.  What is important for us to understand is that we can easily fall into the thinking that we are something, but when compared to creation we are very small and very temporary.

Storms have a way of doing that. We may well think that we have everything under control and we are established and secure but when a severe storm comes we start to realize how insecure and helpless we truly are. Everything we possess can be washed away in a flood, blown away in a tornado, or burned up in a fire. You get the point. Everything we put our trust in can be gone in a moment. If it is in these things we hope we will find only despair.  Sadly, it may be that it is in the storms of life that God has to use the thunder of His voice to get our attention.

In Chapters 1&2 Job went through five difficult trials where He lost everything. As he and his friends are dealing with the effects of these storms in life there is one more storm he has to face. As they have been talking the approaching storm has been building. Soon Job will have his day in court but instead of him having his say God has a few things to say. God loves Job and his friends too much to let them go. The same is true for us. He used Elihu to help Job prepare for his encounter with God. God also has some things to say to Job’s three friends but this storm is not a judgement of condemnation but the discipline of a Father that loves His children enough to let them go through what they need to go through in order to get them to the place where they will listen to Him.

God loves us as well. If that means it takes trials and storms to get our attention then it takes what it takes. But God is not going to let you and me go without doing everything necessary to get our attention.

Here are a few verses for further study.

Luke 8:22-25; Romans 8:31-39; Hebrews 12:1-13: James 1:2-8

Pastor Dave