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The Comforted Heart Still Trembles…

August 30, 2012

 

“At this also my heart trembles
and leaps out of its place.
Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
(Job 37:1-2 ESV)

Job chapter 37 has some powerful insights about God and His meticulous control over all of creation.  It comes at the end of Elihu’s speech to Job and his friends, right before God’s appearance.  Elihu often gets a bad rap, mostly because he is portrayed as unfeeling toward Job’s plight and arrogant toward the elders gathered around Job.  Despite these flaws, he does proclaim some glorious truths about God which deserve our attention and are worthy of our meditation.

Let’s look at some brief background to the book of Job.  There are six main characters in the book of Job; there is God, Job, Job’s three “friends” Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, and then 2/3 of the way through the book a young man named Elihu arrives on the scene.  He is young and arrogant and many commentaries on Job simply exclude Elihu’s 5 chapters, for the feeling that whatever benefit they have is mitigated by their source.  I am thankful that his chapters are here, and I am grateful that god used a flawed arrogant young man to profess timeless truths about His character, that we can examine today.

My hope is that you will be encouraged by this passage and know that it is God who is in control.  He commands His creation to instruct, to control and does it all for his purposes.  And where there is fear seen in this passage, there is a great hope here that extends to us today.

I. God commands creation to instruct… vss 1-5

  1. Gods voice is likened here to Thunder, imagine when you here this sound which causes your knees to buckle and your heart to skip a beat, that this is what the voice of God who created the universe is like.  Throughout scripture we see this description Ps. 29:3-4 “the glory of G thund”, Ps. 77:18 “voice of thunder” Rev 14:2 “voice from Heaven, voice of great thunder”
  2. Lightening to see and thunder to hear, creations display informs our senses, it is an audio/visual display our eyes see and our ears hear.
  3. Our lack of understanding does not denote a lack of His control

II.God commands creation to control… vss 6-10

  1. “He says”, “he sends” the seasons and winter and rain
  2. He seals the hand of men; this is very instructive to us.  All that man can control, all that seeks to control and work toward can cease when winter comes, and he is sealed up in his home (ice storm analogy) this happens for a reason and should not be wasted time. “So that all men may know His work.  When we are sealed up, forced to rest and stay in we should reflect on Him who sent the snow.  Even the animal’s activities are curtailed.  So too the mighty waters, the most powerful rivers that in the height of spring will rush and flow free carving the landscape are frozen still by the breath of God as His creation freezes in its place.  Matthew Henry has said that “this is an instance of Gods power  that if it were not so common it would be next to a miracle”

III. God commands creation for His purpose… vss 11-24

  1. God guides the un-guidable, we see the moisture in the clouds and the wind scatter them, we see the whirlwind and it appears to be utter chaos, with no order in it at all, and yet it whirls about “being turned by His guidance”
  2. These activities do whatever He commands over the face of the whole earth, the phrase here in focus in the “whole globe of the earth” all of creation he commands, not one molecule of particle exists or whirls about apart from His knowledge and divine providence.
  3. These all occur for His purposes, and this is the focus point the power point that I would want to emphasize that these occur for correction, possibly judgment, for the “land “which is to say for provision, and for mercy, for it is by the mercy of God that he created a world that fresh water is Provided by the rain, and crops are nurtured in their season.

Conclusion: This is a fine passage but it is limited I feel, for Elihu in his Old Testament understanding fails to communicate the comfort and peace that a God in control should inspire.  He says in verse 24 “Therefore fear Him” This to me seems incomplete, but praise God that what is incomplete in the old testament is made whole in the New, turn with me to Matt. 10:29-31 and hear the words of our Lord in addressing the fears of His disciples, He points to nature and Gods sovereignty over creation to inspire confidence and vanquish fear.

Here we see a God who commands his creation, in that even the minutest of creatures has his eye, how much more should we then fear not for God has set us apart from creation and chosen us before the foundation of the world.

*The same God who sends the storm which thunders like his voice, quiets the same with a rebuke, the same God who sent his son to die 2000 years ago, commanded creation three days later, the by His word the body rose, the ground quaked and the stone rolled away.  This is the hope that we have, and we see displayed in nature and made evident in our hearts and through this we should fear not for it is this God who commands the whole of creation who has the hairs on our heads numbered,  Fear not for He commands creation to instruct and control and does so for His purpose, fear not brothers and marvel at His Grace “for are we not of more value than these”.

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One comment

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