Elihu continued speaking:
Elihu teaches Job about the justice and righteousness of God:
2 “Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.
For I have not finished defending God!
3 I will present profound arguments
for the righteousness of my Creator.
4 I am telling you nothing but the truth,
for I am a man of great knowledge.
Elihu gives himself a certificate of genius! Then he says a lot of the same old things.
God rewards the obedient and the disobedient perish:
5 “God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!
He is mighty in both power and understanding.
“If God were little, he might despise the little; if he were weak he would disdain the weak; if he were untrue he would be supercilious to those about him; but, seeing he is none of these, but is God over all blessed for ever, the only wise God, we have to deal with one who, though he be high, hath respect unto the lowly; who, though he humbleth himself even to observe the things which are done in heaven, yet despiseth not the cry of the humble. The magnanimity of God is the reason why he despiseth not any.”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
6 He does not let the wicked live
but gives justice to the afflicted.
7 He never takes his eyes off the innocent,
but he sets them on thrones with kings
and exalts them forever.
8 If they are bound in chains
and caught up in a web of trouble,
9 he shows them the reason.
He shows them their sins of pride.
10 He gets their attention
and commands that they turn from evil.
11 “If they listen and obey God,
they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.
All their years will be pleasant.
The sad fate of the hypocrite:
Elihu thought Job was a hypocrite for continuing to deny his guilt. He felt Job was putting himself under a greater and greater outpouring of God’s wrath.
12 But if they refuse to listen to him,
they will be killed by the sword
and die from lack of understanding.
13 For the godless are full of resentment.
Even when he punishes them,
they refuse to cry out to him for help.
14 They die when they are young,
after wasting their lives in immoral living.
15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
For he gets their attention through adversity.
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
–C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Elihu teaches Job about the greatness of God:
16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,
to a place free from distress.
He is setting your table with the best food.
17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.
Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.
18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.
Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.
19 Could all your wealth
or all your mighty efforts
keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the cover of night,
for that is when people will be destroyed.
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,
for God sent this suffering
to keep you from a life of evil.
Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power
22 “Look, God is all-powerful.
Who is a teacher like him?
23 No one can tell him what to do,
or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,
singing songs of praise.
25 Everyone has seen these things,
though only from a distance.
The unsearchable greatness of God is expressed in the storm:
26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.
His years cannot be counted.
27 He draws up the water vapor
and then distills it into rain.
28 The rain pours down from the clouds,
and everyone benefits.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds
and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
30 See how he spreads the lightning around him
and how it lights up the depths of the sea.
31 By these mighty acts he nourishes the people,
giving them food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts
and hurls each at its target.
33 The thunder announces his presence;
the storm announces his indignant anger.
Your science lesson for the day!
Lightning is a powerful burst of electricity that happens very quickly during a thunderstorm. The movement of rain and ice inside a thundercloud creates an electrical charge, with the negative charge (electrons) forming at the bottom of the cloud and the positive charge (protons) forming at the top. Thus there is an unbalanced electrical charge in the atmosphere. Opposites attract so the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud seeks out a positive charge to connect with.
Thunder is the sound caused by lightning. The intense heat from lightning causes the surrounding air to rapidly expand and create a sonic wave that you hear as thunder. The average temperature of lightning is around 36000 °F. Light travels faster than sound so we see lightning before we hear thunder.
So the last couple verse refer to thunder and lightning — and from far in the deep recesses of my brain this song came to mind, back from my college days in the 70’s! HERE is “Thunder and Lighting” by the American rock-pop-jazz songwriter, pianist, and singer, Chi Coltrane.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.