World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Elihu Proclaims God's Majesty
1“At this also my heart trembles
and leaps out of its place.
2Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
3Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
4After it his voice roars;
he thunders with his majestic voice,
and he does not restrain the lightnings11Hebrew them when his voice is heard.
5God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
7He seals up the hand of every man,
that all men whom he made may know it.
8Then the beasts go into their lairs,
and remain in their dens.
9From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.
10By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
12They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
13Whether for correction or for his land
or for love, he causes it to happen.
14“Hear this, O Job;
stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
15Do you know how God lays his command upon them
and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16Do you know the balancings22Or hoverings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
17you whose garments are hot
when the earth is still because of the south wind?
18Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
hard as a cast metal mirror?
19Teach us what we shall say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
20Shall it be told him that I would speak?
Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?
21“And now no one looks on the light
when it is bright in the skies,
when the wind has passed and cleared them.
22Out of the north comes golden splendor;
God is clothed with awesome majesty.
23The Almighty—we cannot find him;
he is great in power;
justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
24Therefore men fear him;
he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”33Hebrew in heart
The changes of the weather are the subject of a great deal of our thoughts and common talk; but how seldom do we think and speak of these things, as Elihu, with a regard to God, the director of them! We must notice the glory of God, not only in the thunder and lightning, but in the more common and less awful changes of the weather; as the snow and rain. Nature directs all creatures to shelter themselves from a storm; and shall man only be unprovided with a refuge? Oh that men would listen to the voice of God, who in many ways warns them to flee from the wrath to come; and invites them to accept his salvation, and to be happy. The ill opinion which men entertain of the Divine direction, peculiarly appears in their murmurs about the weather, though the whole result of the year proves the folly of their complaints. Believers should avoid this; no days are bad as God makes them, though we make many bad by our sins. (Job 37:14-20)
Due thoughts of the works of God will help to reconcile us to all his providences. As God has a powerful, freezing north wind, so he has a thawing, composing south wind: the Spirit is compared to both, because he both convinces and comforts, So 4:16. The best of men are much in the dark concerning the glorious perfections of the Divine nature and the Divine government. Those who, through grace, know much of God, know nothing, in comparison with what is to be known, and of what will be known, when that which is perfect is come.
Elihu concludes his discourse with some great sayings concerning the glory of God. Light always is, but is not always to be seen. When clouds come between, the sun is darkened in the clear day. The light of God's favour shines ever towards his faithful servants, though it be not always seen. Sins are clouds, and often hinder us from seeing that bright light which is in the face of God. Also, as to those thick clouds of sorrow which often darken our minds, the Lord hath a wind which passes and clears them away. What is that wind? It is his Holy Spirit. As the wind dispels and sweeps away the clouds which are gathered in the air, so the Spirit of God clears our souls from the clouds and fogs of ignorance and unbelief, of sin and lust. From all these clouds the Holy Spirit of God frees us in the work of regeneration. And from all the clouds which trouble our consciences, the Holy Spirit sets us free in the work of consolation. Now that God is about to speak, Elihu delivers a few words, as the sum of all his discourse. With God is terrible majesty. Sooner or later all men shall fear him.