Friday Morning Reflections – Wisdom Literature
Listen to this, O Job; stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. Do you know when God dispatches them, and causes the light of His cloud to shine? Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge? Why are your garments hot, when He quiets the earth by the south wind? With Him, have you spread out the skies, strong as a cast metal mirror? Teach us what we should say to Him, for we can prepare nothing because of the darkness. Should He be told that I wish to speak? If a man were to speak, surely he would be swallowed up. Even now men cannot look at the light when it is bright in the skies, when the wind has passed and cleared them. He comes from the north as golden splendor; with God is awesome majesty. As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart. (Job 37:14-24)
Elihu sat through the painful discourse of Job and his three friends with respectful honor for the aged. When the four men had finished their debate because Job was righteous in his own eyes, Elihu spoke. He reminded the four men of his age and how he had sat quietly in respect but their conclusion was misguided. Age does not always bring wisdom and how the four men sought to justify the things that came upon Job defied the righteousness of God. Job 32-37 is a powerful testimony of a young man’s answer to an age of wisdom missing the mark concerning the true character of the Almighty.
When Elihu finishes speaking the Lord answers Job out of the whirlwind and picks up the mantle of rebuke begun by the young man. Sometimes it is important to listen to the young who have not been soured with the trials of life concluding misery is the lot of all men and the Lord has forgotten them. Job is reminded the power of God is summed up in the name ‘Almighty.’ When the Lord told Abraham (at the age of 99) he was to be a father within the year He declared Himself to be the Almighty God. Through the ages the Lord is known by this name. No book in scripture uses this name of God more than the book of Job (31 times). Somehow Job and his friends missed the import of what that name meant.
God’s rebuke to Job is the definition of ‘Almighty.” How can one compare the awesome majesty of the Lord with the wisdom of man? He is not just the mighty He is the Almighty with power so far beyond man there is no comparison. Elihu is reminding Job the ways of God are inscrutable.
It is important for the people of God today to remember how Awesome God is. Like Job we need to be reminded of the character of the Lord is understood by calling Him “Almighty.” Language has power and it may help in our lives to use the name Almighty when we speak of the Lord to remind us of how large is His ocean and how small our boat. Pride lifts man up to think of himself more highly than he should. Standing in the presence of one called Almighty helps put a perspective on our dependence upon Him. He holds our breath in His hand. The sun rises and sets at His command. Life is held on the spider web thread of the day when the Lord will speak and His Son will return with His angels. The Almighty rules.
There is nothing which God cannot accomplish. (Cicero, De divination, c. 78 B. C.)