Behold, God is great, and we know him not,
neither can the number of his years be searched out.
Elihu teaches about God
v1 Elihu continued:
v2 Listen further! And on behalf of God, I will teach you more. v3 My knowledge is great. I will explain about God, who is my maker. And I will prove that God is fair.
v4 Know this: my words are true. And my knowledge is perfect.
v5 God is powerful. But he does not hate people. He is strong. And he is wise. v6 He does not allow evil people to live. But he protects poor people. v7 He always looks after good people. He makes them as important as kings. He will always give honour to good people.
v8 But suppose that a man has great troubles. And that man cannot avoid his problems. v9 God will show that man’s errors to the man. God will explain that the man is proud and evil. v10 God will
warn that man to stop his evil behaviour.
warn that man to stop his evil behaviour.
v11 That man should obey God. And the man should serve God. Then God will help the man to be calm. And the man will be glad for the rest of his life.
v12 But suppose that the man refuses to obey God. Then, that man will die a cruel death. And he will die because of his lack of knowledge.
v13 Wicked people are angry. When God punishes them, they do not ask him to help them. v14 So, they die when they are young. They are among those that men hand over for an evil life.
v15 But God teaches poor people while they are suffering. And God speaks to them by means of their troubles.
v16 God will take you, Job, from this place, where you suffer. And God will lead you to a good place. There, you will enjoy the best food.
v17 But now, you suffer the punishment that wicked people deserve. And you cannot escape from your troubles.
v18 Do not allow money to tempt you! Do not allow a secret gift to tempt you! v19 Even your great wealth could not prevent your troubles. All your efforts could not protect you.
v20 Do not hope for death, when people lose everything.
v21 And do not choose evil behaviour! It is better to suffer troubles than to behave in an evil way. But Job, you seem to think otherwise.
v22 God is great. And he is powerful. He is the best teacher. v23 Nobody can guide God! Nobody can say to God, ‘Your actions are wrong.’ v24 Remember to praise God for his work. And praise him with songs.
v25 Every person sees God’s good work. They stare from a far place to see God’s work. v26 God is so great that we cannot explain him. We cannot even count his age.
Elihu was bold when he spoke these words. But we do not think that he was proud. Elihu was speaking by God’s Holy Spirit (Job 32:8).
Although God is powerful, he is not like an evil ruler. An evil ruler uses his power to cause trouble for people. But God uses his great power to do good things. He is a fair judge.
God is kind. He is even kind to people who are proud and evil.
God gives an opportunity for people to confess their evil deeds to him.
But God does not force anybody to change.
In the end, God will be the judge of everybody.
Some people refuse to listen when God warns them. These people are wicked.
God helps good people who suffer. He was teaching Job, even while Job was suffering.
Job thought that he was merely waiting to die. But God had wonderful plans for Job.
Job did not deserve these troubles. But while Job was suffering, God was making Job into a better person (1 Peter 1:6-7; Job 23:10). Soon God would rescue Job (chapter 42).
Elihu had almost finished his advice for Job. But in these verses, Elihu warned Job about three dangerous ideas:
· In verses 18-19, Elihu spoke about money. Many people fail to obey God because of money (Matthew 6:24; 2 Timothy 4:10). Job’s friends thought that God gives money to good people. And that, if God rescued Job, Job would become wealthy again. These ideas are wrong.
· Verse 20 is a difficult verse to translate. We think that Elihu was speaking about death. Job often said that he wanted to die (Job 10:18-22; Job 17:13-16). He merely wanted his troubles to end.
· Verse 21 Sometimes an evil person seems to have a better life than a good person. Sometimes Job suggested that an evil person’s life was better than his. But these are unwise ideas.
Many people advise their friends about God. And perhaps such people speak well. But their words are only ideas.
Soon, the men would have an experience of God’s greatness. They would watch a powerful storm. Afterwards, God would speak.
A storm approaches
v27 God gathers the water to make the rain. v28 He causes the rain to fall from the clouds. So, he provides enough water for all people.
v29 We do not know how he arranges the clouds. We do not know how he causes the thunder. (Thunder is the noise that follows lightning.) v30 God causes lightning that lights the seas. v31 So, by the rain, he provides plentiful food for the people of all nations.
v32 God’s own hands cause the lightning. He orders the lightning to strike. v33 We hear the thunder (noise). So, we know that the storm is coming. Even the cows know this.
In Job 26:14,
Job said that man’s experience of God was like a whisper.
But God’s greatness was like the thunder.
Elihu explained that God uses the clouds.
By means of the clouds,
God sends rain.
This shows that God is kind.
He provides water for us and for our crops.
Then the men saw the distant lightning.
And they heard the distant thunder.
It was not raining yet.
But the storm was coming closer.