Friday Morning Reflections – Wisdom Literature
Behold, God is exalted by His power; who teaches like Him? Who has assigned Him His way, or who has said, ‘You have done wrong’? Remember to magnify His work, of which men have sung. Everyone has seen it; man looks on it from afar. Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered. For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy? Look, He scatters His light upon it, and covers the depths of the sea. For by these He judges the peoples; He gives food in abundance. He covers His hands with lightning, and commands it to strike. His thunder declares it, the cattle also, concerning the rising storm. (Job 36:22-33)
How Old Is God?
Science has been able to explain the process of evaporation and formation of rain clouds. It may come as a surprise to many this knowledge was understood by early man. The book of Job was a story that took place during the patriarchal days (like Abraham). Near the end of the story when the young man Elihu is chiding his elders for their lack of understanding of the holy God he illustrates the majesty of God’s power in creation. He knew where rain came from. This was evidence of the beauty of the creation. This knowledge exalts God in the perfectness of His design. Man can understand it and explain it but only the Creator has put this into place. Wisdom comes from God not man.
Elihu puts an interesting twist to his story. Men have sung of the greatness of God since the beginning but no one really understands how great the Lord is. Like some today who ask questions to challenge faith in God Elihu explains there are no answers. “Where did God come from?” There is no answer. The ‘number of years’ cannot be discovered because the Creator is so great man cannot know. This bothers man. He can plunge to the depths of the sea, put a man on the moon and send machines to faraway places in the universe but he cannot touch the toe of God (in fact never come close). Every time man takes a picture of the edge of deep space the Lord smiles and opens up another room in His great expanse. Paul declared to the philosophers of Athens that man lives within the boundaries of a habitation. Man is limited.
Nature extols the virtues of God’s hand when we look at forces such as rain and lightning. We can explain it but we cannot explain it. The only thing we can do is describe what happens but we were not there when the world was void and without form. There was a time no light shone upon this rock. Evaporation was created in the process of God’s design. This we can know because God has shown Himself to man. But that knowledge is limited and we cannot know the years of God. It is not so much trying to count the age of God but to realize how great He is. O Lord how great your ocean and how small my boat. He is big. He is really, really big. And I am glad.
We cannot know God in His greatness, for the Father cannot be measured. (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, c. 175)