This is Episode #162 and today we’ll read Job chapters 35-37 together. Hmmm… Perhaps I was wrong about Elihu.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #162 and today we’ll read Job chapters 35-37 together. Hmmm… Perhaps I was wrong about Elihu.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Job Chapter 35
Then Elihu continued, saying:
Do you think it is just when you say,
“I am righteous before God”?
For you ask, “What does it profit you,
and what benefit comes to me, if I do not sin?”
I will answer you
and your friends with you.
Look at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds high above you.
If you sin, how does it affect God?
If you multiply your transgressions, what does it do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give him,
or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness affects a person like yourself,
and your righteousness, a son of man.
People cry out because of severe oppression;
they shout for help because of the power of the mighty.
But no one asks, “Where is God my Maker,
who provides us with songs in the night,
who gives us more understanding than the animals of the earth
and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?”
There they cry out, but he does not answer,
because of the pride of evil people.
Indeed, God does not listen to empty cries,
and the Almighty does not take note of it —
how much less when you complain
that you do not see him,
that your case is before him
and you are waiting for him.
But now, because God’s anger does not punish
and he does not pay attention to transgression,
Job opens his mouth in vain
and multiplies words without knowledge.
Job Chapter 36
Then Elihu continued, saying:
Be patient with me a little longer, and I will inform you,
for there is still more to be said on God’s behalf.
I will get my knowledge from a distant place
and ascribe justice to my Maker.
Indeed, my words are not false;
one who has complete knowledge is with you.
Yes, God is mighty, but he despises no one;
he understands all things.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
but he gives justice to the oppressed.
He does not withdraw his gaze from the righteous,
but he seats them forever with enthroned kings,
and they are exalted.
If people are bound with chains
and trapped by the cords of affliction,
God tells them what they have done
and how arrogantly they have transgressed.
He opens their ears to correction
and tells them to repent from iniquity.
If they listen and serve him,
they will end their days in prosperity
and their years in happiness.
But if they do not listen,
they will cross the river of death
and die without knowledge.
Those who have a godless heart harbor anger;
even when God binds them, they do not cry for help.
They die in their youth;
their life ends among male cult prostitutes.
God rescues the afflicted by their affliction;
he instructs them by their torment.
Indeed, he lured you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious and unconfined place.
Your table was spread with choice food.
Yet now you are obsessed with the judgment due the wicked;
judgment and justice have seized you.
Be careful that no one lures you with riches;
do not let a large ransom lead you astray.
Can your wealth or all your physical exertion
keep you from distress?
Beyond Our Knowledge
Do not long for the night
when nations will disappear from their places.
Be careful that you do not turn to iniquity,
for that is why you have been tested by affliction.
Look, God shows himself exalted by his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
Who has appointed his way for him,
and who has declared, “You have done wrong”?
Remember that you should praise his work,
which people have sung about.
All mankind has seen it;
people have looked at it from a distance.
Yes, God is exalted beyond our knowledge;
the number of his years cannot be counted.
For he makes waterdrops evaporate;
they distill the rain into its mist,
which the clouds pour out
and shower abundantly on mankind.
Can anyone understand how the clouds spread out
or how the thunder roars from God’s pavilion?
See how he spreads his lightning around him
and covers the depths of the sea.
For he judges the nations with these;
he gives food in abundance.
He covers his hands with lightning
and commands it to hit its mark.
The thunder declares his presence;
the cattle also, the approaching storm.
Job Chapter 37
My heart pounds at this
and leaps from my chest.
Just listen to his thunderous voice
and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
He lets it loose beneath the entire sky;
his lightning to the ends of the earth.
Then there comes a roaring sound;
God thunders with his majestic voice.
He does not restrain the lightning
when his rumbling voice is heard.
God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For he says to the snow, “Fall to the earth,”
and the torrential rains, his mighty torrential rains,
serve as his sign to all mankind,
so that all men may know his work.
The wild animals enter their lairs
and stay in their dens.
The windstorm comes from its chamber,
and the cold from the driving north winds.
Ice is formed by the breath of God,
and watery expanses are frozen.
He saturates clouds with moisture;
he scatters his lightning through them.
They swirl about,
turning round and round at his direction,
accomplishing everything he commands them
over the surface of the inhabited world.
He causes this to happen for punishment,
for his land, or for his faithful love.
Listen to this, Job.
Stop and consider God’s wonders.
Do you know how God directs his clouds
or makes their lightning flash?
Do you understand how the clouds float,
those wonderful works of him who has perfect knowledge?
You whose clothes get hot
when the south wind brings calm to the land,
can you help God spread out the skies
as hard as a cast metal mirror?
He Is Exalted In Power
Teach us what we should say to him;
we cannot prepare our case because of our darkness.
Should he be told that I want to speak?
Can a man speak when he is confused?
Now no one can even look at the sun
after a wind has swept through and cleared the sky.
Out of the north he comes, shrouded in a golden glow;
awesome majesty surrounds him.
The Almighty — we cannot reach him —
he is exalted in power!
He will not violate justice and abundant righteousness,
therefore, men fear him.
He does not look favorably on any who are wise in heart.
I think I was wrong yesterday when I was so dismissive and critical of Elihu. In these chapters, what he is speaking rings of much truth. We should indeed praise God for all His works. There are certainly things that we don’t see with human eyes. God does not get worked up about the same things that we do, even our suffering. And when we are in pain, our tendency is to think that we are being punished. We do not consider that God is keeping us from greater sin; protecting us from what we might do were we not distracted by our misery.
It seems to me that we are reminded here to think beyond this life. And that brings us to the Gospel, the good news that Jesus came so that we could spend eternity with God. In His presence. To not be separated from Him. The agonies we experience in this life do not compare to that loss. In Acts chapter 2, Peter gives a sermon that drives the hearers to energetically ask, “What must we do to be saved?” Verses 38 & 39 say this: Peter replied, “Repent (turn from your sin) and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (parentheses are mine.)
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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