Does anyone really understand how amazing God is? I know I don’t. It seems to me our human frailty precludes an accurate understanding, because it’s naturally built into us to think God is exactly like us (i.e. fraught with human frailties) … but He’s not!
The historical figures in The Book of Job weren’t so different than 21st century men and women. Job himself understood God in a particular way; he had boxed God into a human-sized container that made sense to him. Looking at Job Chapter 37, we read a continuation (from the previous chapters) of Elihu’s monologue. Elihu eloquently explains aspects of God’s power and majesty while Job remains speechless.
In chapter 37, Elihu is actually expanding on the theme he began in the latter verses of chapter 36 where he reminded Job and the comforters that God fills up the clouds and pours down rain, He spreads out the clouds in a manner incomprehensible to us, He fills His hands with lightning and commands it to strike. Elihu notes even the cattle understand the sounds of thunder warn of an impending storm. These amazing clues are only a sample, Elihu explains, of God’s great and awesome power!
Elihu continues to extol God’s power and majesty in chapter 37. He uses familiar images and word pictures … the roar of His voice … rumbling that comes from His mouth … He unleashes His lightning … He thunders His majestic voice … God’s voice thunders … He says to the snow ‘Fall’ … to the rain ‘Be a mighty downpour’ … the breath of God produces ice … He loads the clouds with moisture.
After Elihu has expounded at great length the wonders of the Creator, he adopts a more personal appeal in verse 14, urging Job to “Listen … stop and consider God’s wonders.” I can almost imagine Elihu grabbing Job’s collar and saying, “Pay attention, Job! Snap out of your lethargy! God is bigger than big!”
Elihu’s appeal is sincere, but there’s sarcasm as well. He asks: Which of God’s abilities is Job able to replicate? Does Job have any control over the clouds and the lightning? With all his vast knowledge (definitely sarcastic), does Job have ability to direct cooling winds over the planet? As rhetorical questions, Elihu knows their answers: of course not!
In this chapter of Job, Elihu sings the praises of a Creator who is both immensely powerful and intensely personal, the God who is beyond our reach but who graciously regards the wise in heart. This chapter is a beautiful prelude to chapter 38 when God actually speaks directly to Job out of the storm.