Chapter 37 is a very interesting chapter when read in light of the first verse of 38.
In chapter 37 it seems like an actual storm or whirlwind is approaching. Elihu is taking something he and they are actually seeing and referencing it as a display of God’s majestic power and authority.
Little does Elihu know, it will be out of this very whirlwind that God will soon speak to Job and all human counsel will cease.
Much of what Elihu says here is true. Even more it begins to sound a lot like what we will soon hear when God Himself speaks.
Elihu is not completely devoid of right knowledge. Yet it is the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom. Elihu’s final words are almost prophetic…
“…he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
God will say nothing to Elihu. He won’t even be named among Job’s counsellors when all is restored. Could it be that in Elihu’s arrogance and conceit, he has said somethings that are partially true, yet in the end God will show him no regard?
I think that is a plausible conclusion…
Even more in this midst of this final part of Elihu’s speech, I think we also see another sign of his youthful conceit in his lack of compassion, when in verse 20b he asks, “Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?” The implied answer Elihu seems to be expecting is “no!” Yet, Job has often cried out to God saying it would have been better for him not to be born and/or asking God to just end his life and suffering.
A common characteristic of one who is young and has not yet suffered much in this life is a lack of understanding and compassion for those who are truly suffering. One wonders what suffering Elihu will experience in the years to come and when he does how he will look back on this time with regret.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.1 Corinthians 1:3-5
It is not the only purpose to be sure, but one of the purposes in the afflictions we experience in this life is so that, in them, we might know the comfort of our Heavenly Father and be enabled to comfort others with the comfort we have received.
“Health is set before us as if it were the great thing to be desired above all other things. It is so? I would venture to say that the greatest blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness. Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has. If some men, that I know of, could only be favoured with a month of rheumatism, it would, by God’s grace, mellow them marvelously.”C. H. Spurgeon, “The Minister in These Times” in An All-Round Ministry (Banner of Truth, 2000), p. 384, italics in the original.
Soli Deo Gloria
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