“My heart pounds as I think of this.
It trembles within me.
2 Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice
as it rolls from his mouth.
3 It rolls across the heavens,
and his lightning flashes in every direction.
This passage (verses 1-13) reveals a sophisticated observation of atmospheric conditions and their effects: the evaporation and distillation of water for rain, the clouds as holders of moisture, and the cyclonic behavior of clouds. (The Archaeological Study Bible)
“The Bible contains some magnificent descriptions of the thunderstorm. Psalm 29 is the best of these, but Elihu’s poem comes a close second.”
–Francis I. Andersen
4 Then comes the roaring of the thunder—
the tremendous voice of his majesty.
He does not restrain it when he speaks.
5 God’s voice is glorious in the thunder.
We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power.
What the voice of God can do:
6 “He directs the snow to fall on the earth
and tells the rain to pour down.
7 Then everyone stops working
so they can watch his power.
8 The wild animals take cover
and stay inside their dens.
9 The stormy wind comes from its chamber,
and the driving winds bring the cold.
10 God’s breath sends the ice,
freezing wide expanses of water.
Psalm 147:17 (NIV)
Who can withstand his icy blast?
11 He loads the clouds with moisture,
and they flash with his lightning.
12 The clouds churn about at his direction.
They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.
Praise the Lord from the earth . . .
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding.
13 He makes these things happen either to punish people
or to show his unfailing love.
“In many ways a storm serves as an ideal metaphor for the spiritual problems in Job. For while a storm presents all the outward appearance of chaos, of nature run amok, still throughout it all we know that the Creator remains in absolute control of every detail.”
14 “Pay attention to this, Job.
Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
15 Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
16 Do you understand how he moves the clouds
with wonderful perfection and skill?
17 When you are sweltering in your clothes
and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
18 he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror.
Can you do that?
Elihu’s final advice to Job:
19 “So teach the rest of us what to say to God.
We are too ignorant to make our own arguments.
20 Should God be notified that I want to speak?
Can people even speak when they are confused?
21 We cannot look at the sun,
for it shines brightly in the sky
when the wind clears away the clouds.
22 So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.
He is clothed in dazzling splendor.
23 We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty;
but even though he is just and righteous,
he does not destroy us.
24 No wonder people everywhere fear him.
All who are wise show him reverence.”
“In the story of Job, too, the Lord has apparently been sound asleep until now, peacefully curled up in the stern of the boat while Job has been struggling all alone with the wind and the waves. . . . in the case of Job He let the storm rage for 37 chapters, until finally He calmed not the storm itself, but Job’s heart.”
I have been struck by the beautiful descriptions of nature throughout the book, and who can forget Job’s confident proclamation of hope amid his trials and his not-so-helpful “comforters” — “I know that my Redeemer lives!” Nicole C. Mullen puts it all together HERE in “My Redeemer Lives.”
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.