Reading through the Bible together

Friday, August 2, 2013

Go to previous reading  Job 37  Go to next reading

The Bible

Bible Blog

Elihu finally comes to the end of his long talk. This chapter will be his last one and his brain will be empty. He understands God almost from a pantheistic view seeing Him as rain and storms in Chapter 36. At first it appears as if he is just indicating the Creation of these natural rain events, but in this chapter his approach is like Dr. Kellogg’s was in the time of Ellen White equating God with nature which she warned him about.


Elihu is shaken by storms and God’s presence in them. He says, “Listen to the thunder of His majestic voice as it goes forth from His mouth.” His light or lightning goes to the ends of the earth and His voice will be heard. He does great and wonderful things which we do not know, yet His voice will be heard (verses 1- 5). Elihu says that every time it rains, God orders it. If there is snow, God sent the snow (verses 1- 6).  Some (called Deists) believe that God wound up the clock of natural laws and then left the earth to run by itself. Pantheism says every thunder is God’s voice. This seems to be Elihu’s view when he says, “in the hand of every human He seals these things so that all men may know from His works” (verse 7).


The potential to know that a Creator exists is in the hand of every human. Denial is foolishness. Elihu is right here. “The beast returns to its den and it remains where it dwells” (verse 8). Elihu probably wants to say they go back to their sleeping quarters for God pushed them there. He is probably trying to get to the point that Job’s ailments are pushed on him by God.


Verse 9 has many translations. It is better to see this verse as Moses’ understood it as he wrote it. Strong, cold winds come from the north and whirlwinds from the south. God gives ice and the stretch of waters in the night (verse 10). He fills the thick clouds with moisture and scatters the clouds of light over the face of the earth (verses 11- 13). In this section Elihu describes an ocean from which God brings cold and flood.  There is an ice coating on the top of the cloud so that God’s chariot which is turning around and wheeling in circles will not break the cloud and scatter His light. Elihu synchronizes daily happenings in the heavens (meteorology) with Egyptian Theology and ends up creating pantheism, equating God with nature. Moses and Job do not share his view.


Elihu wants Job to consider the wonders of God (verse 14). It is the beginning of a new theme he wishes to elaborate on next and asks: Do you know the actions of God? Do you know how the light of His storm cloud appears? Do you know about the revelations of the clouds? Do you know of the                wonders of Him Who is perfect in knowledge? Do you know how the earth is kept warm and why are clothes are needed in the winter? Did you spread out to the skies? Where were you Job when God did all this? (verses 15 - 18).


Now Elihu wishes to be sarcastic. He does not seem to care what he is saying: “What we shall say to Him.” “We cannot set up a conversation with God from the face of darkness.” “Do we have to tell Him what we are going to say?” “Need a man tell Him what is secret?” “They do not see His light for they cannot even look at the light when it is bright in the skies after a wind has come and cleared the clouds away” (verses 19-21). For some reason Elihu suddenly stops his sarcasm and compares God to gold and says that God is awesome glory (verse 22).


Then Elihu makes some very cynical remarks: “We have not found the Almighty great in power and judgment, and that in righteousness He does not afflict” (verse 23). One cannot help to hear the voice of Satan here. It is no longer Elihu. It is the history of the Rebellion in Heaven replaying here on earth. Because of this cynical remark about God, “therefore, men fear Him” (verse 24). Similar to Lucifer in heaven and Satan on earth afterwards, Elihu’s final cynical remark: “He does not look upon any wise of heart” is certainly not biblical. Satan used these friends of Job, but now Satan’s mask is uncovered which calls on God Himself to enter the conversation.


Dear God,

We suddenly feel that sometimes friends are nothing but Satan’s instruments. Also for us, bitter experiences let Satan’s mask down and we see him face to face as he really is. We love our friends but we have no partnership with Satan. It is You we seek. Amen.


Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea