In chapter 36, Elihu continues on with his words of "knowledge" and "understanding" to Job. Despite Elihu's perspective of himself and his perfect in knowledge claim, there were some verses that stood out to me in this chapter.
God is all powerful, and God's power assures the fulfillment of His purpose. Whether we want to accept His purpose or not, His will, will be done. God has a purpose for executing both goodness and justice, so we ought to place our faith in God, and gain our understanding of His purpose from Him.
I do not agree with Elihu's theology here, which is the same as Job's three friends, but I found it interesting that people today are really not different than back then. People want to be content and happy and think that if we do good things, good things will happen to us. Just before I read the passage and wrote this post, I was driving home and saw a lady by herself in her van with a flat tire. My first thought was that I should provide some assistance because if Pamela or one of our girls were in that situation, I would want someone to help them out too. Kind of the "paying it forward" idea. So I turned around to offer my limited car fixing ability to her in hopes that one day if needed, someone else would do the same for my girls. How silly.
They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines. But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction. Job 36: 13-15
Elihu is talking about people who do not know God. However, if we do not cast our cares upon Him, and we pile up one grievance on top of the other, then we are not yielding to God and will not hear His voice in our suffering. Even Elihu realized that the basic spiritual need of man stems from the hardness of his heart.
Elihu then continues on with how great and infinite God is, and that He is greater than anything we could ever imagine or figure out (vs 26). He continues on and describes some of God's creation and the passage reveals a sophisticated observation of atmospheric conditions and their effects. He begins chapter 37 by saying that his heart pounds and leaps from its place because he is stunned by His creation.
Am I stunned by His creation? Do I give enough praise to God when He sends the thunder? How everyday the sun and moon provide their light and the clouds form from nowhere. Can I say that I have given God the glory He deserves in His creation, how He commands the wind, the sun, the moon, the lakes, the rain, the clouds, and (I guess even the snow) and they obey? I can safely say, that I have not. My knowledge is limited and I cannot fathom the magnificence and magnitude of His creation.
God begins to speak to Job in chapters 38-39, and He quickly addresses the fact that no matter how wise a person may be, we can not be as wise as God. God points out the mysteries of His creation, and since man has so little understanding of this, how can man presume to understand the action of God as in the case of the trial of Job?
These two chapters are full of illustrations of nature that are beyond man's comprehension with regard to their origin, or means of accomplishment. They also demonstrate God's disdain for man's understanding of the ways of God in light of the fact that those who spoke to Job represented themselves as great men of wisdom. God is just setting the record straight on their actual level of understanding.
We need to be careful to not be like Job and his friends. It is easy speak about issues with uncertainty, and base it on a hunch and not a fact. In times of need and direction, my prayer is that I will go back to the Bible for my counsel, and base my decision on what the scripture says.