Elihu concluded his sermon in this chapter, and what a noble sermon it was! Having shown the goodness, righteousness, wisdom, and mercy of the Lord; he closed by offering some excellent thoughts upon the unsearchableness of His Divine dealings with the children of men. He extolled the wonderful power of God in all the changes of the weather. And if, in those changes, we submit to the will of the Lord; and if we take the weather as it is, and make the best of it – then why should we not do so in other changes of our condition?
Elihu reasoned from the wonders of God’s works in the world of nature, in bringing the lightning and rain out of His treasures. And he seemed to be teaching us that although these are produced by the Lord’s appointment of natural causes, yet the world ought to hear the voice of God in them and by them. When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, His Divine presence was accompanied with thunders, lightning, and other tremendous signs (Ex. 19:16-20). And the Apostle was commissioned by the Holy Spirit to teach the Church that those awful signs were also figurative of the alarming nature of the law, in order to show – by contrast – the gracious mildness of the Gospel (Heb. 12:18-24).
How beautiful is the description that Elihu gave of God’s work in sending upon the earth the different weathers, as tokens of His bounty and love! When He sometimes shut up the windows of heaven, thereby causing a drought upon earth, the purpose of this is to bring His people to His mercy-seat. And when He sometimes sends us fruitful seasons, which fill our hearts with food and gladness, times like these ought to fill our souls also with love and praise! Let us not forget to also spiritualize these natural blessings; and to look through them to Him Who is said to come down upon the minds and hearts of His people, like rain upon the mown grass! (Ps. 72:6) And after the snow and frost are gone up from the wintry seasons of His Church, He visits their souls with renewed springtime, and invites His people to come away with Him – because the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone! (Song of Sol. 2:10-11)
Proper thoughts of the works of God will help us to be reconciled to all His Providences. Even the best of men are much in the dark concerning the glorious perfections of the Divine nature and Divine government. But since the Lord is in control of all things on earth, even the weather; then can we not commit our spiritual matters to Him who does all things well? How consoling it is to have so many assurances that the eternal mind directs all things, and that He has wise and merciful purposes to fulfill – either of correction, cultivation, or mercy (verse 13). As the storms and tempests of heaven work out good to God’s creatures, so also do the storms of life bring blessings to His redeemed children. And of this, we have a striking example here. “Hearken!” said Elihu in verse 14. “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” To feel the force of this summons, we must take a view of the scene and its circumstances. A storm was raging – a tempest so tremendous that it was sending the beasts for shelter to their dens (verse 8). The whirlwind of the south (verse 9) was rolling before it the burning sands of the desert – enveloping all nature in a veil. And having now very fully set forth God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and goodness, Elihu called upon Job to pause over it all. He wished him to see – with a more sober coolness – how utterly unsuitable and unbecoming it must be, in any of God’s creatures, to presume to make judgments upon His works, or to become unsatisfied with any of His appointments. There was a vast deal of sound reasoning and argument in Elihu’s discourse – in regard to both Job and his three friends. And from the silence of the whole group, it seemed that they were all much more calm and temperate after hearing Elihu’s sermon, than they were before.
Elihu’s concluding words contain some great sayings concerning the glory of the Lord. Now that God Himself was about to speak, he delivered a few words as the summary of his whole discourse. “With God is terrible majesty”; and sooner or later, all people shall fear Him! Light always exists, but it is not always seen; for when clouds come, the sun is darkened in the clear day. Similarly, the light of the Lord’s favor always shines toward His children, although it is not always seen. Sins and sorrows are clouds, and often hinder us from seeing that bright light which is in the face of God; but He has a wind which passes and clears them away. Just as the wind dispels and sweeps away the clouds which are gathered in the air; so also, the Spirit of God clears our souls from the clouds and fogs of ignorance and unbelief, and of sins and lusts. Job had said, “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” And here, Elihu anticipated such a result. He told Job that although a cloud had passed between him and his reconciled God, yet all would be made clear; and when he had been enlightened by God’s truth, he would be shown how deeply he had mistaken the matter. And then, when the Lord’s holy requirements had been made perceptible to him, his own shortcomings would become so obvious that they would enforce the confession which he afterward did make: “Behold, I am vile!”
Lord, we pray for grace that our minds may be enlightened by Your truth, so that we may see our own vileness and unworthiness in contrast to the holiness and majesty of our precious Lord Jesus! Amen.
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