Job 36: Beyond Our Understanding

“Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; Nor can the number of His years be discovered. Job 36:26


Job 36 Elihu Extols God’s Greatness

36:5,6 Elihu states his thesis: God is both mighty and just in dealings with humankind. Elihu challenges Job’s assertion that the wicked are not punished by God (21:7) and his subsequent arguments. Then Elihu counters Job’s complaints of 24:1-17.

5  “Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. 6  He does not preserve the life of the wicked, But gives justice to the oppressed.

36:13, 14 Affliction will also reveal the hypocrites who, because their hearts are incorrigibly wicked, do not cry to God for help. The warning is clear: Do not reject God’s message by failing to cry out to Him for help (see Rom.1:18-32).

13  “But the hypocrites in heart store up wrath; They do not cry for help when He binds them. 14  They die in youth, And their life ends among the perverted persons.

36:16-25 Take heed: Elihu says that God intended to teach Job something through his affliction. Rather than trying to correct the Teacher, Job should remember to magnify God’s work as Maker of all things. Thus Elihu is setting the stage for the Lord, who will emphasize this concept in His speeches (38:1-42:6).

16  “Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress, Into a broad place where there is no restraint; And what is set on your table would be full of richness. 17  But you are filled with the judgment due the wicked; Judgment and justice take hold of you. 18  Because there is wrath, beware lest He take you away with one blow; For a large ransom would not help you avoid it. 19  Will your riches, Or all the mighty forces, Keep you from distress? 20  Do not desire the night, When people are cut off in their place. 21  Take heed, do not turn to iniquity, For you have chosen this rather than affliction. 22  “Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him? 23  Who has assigned Him His way, Or who has said, ‘You have done wrong’?  24  “Remember to magnify His work, Of which men have sung. 25  Everyone has seen it; Man looks on it from afar.

36:32 God the sovereign warrior commands the thunderstorm as He dispenses lightning from His hands like arrows. The Book of Job makes clear that God alone controls the unpredictable changes of the weather (see 38:22, 34-38),

32  He covers His hands with lightning, And commands it to strike.

⇒  Knowing God’s greatness should comfort us when we realize how limited we are in terms of our knowledge and ability. In spite of God being infinitely superior to us, He did not distance Himself from us. Knowing myself and knowing God give me peace. Because God chose to reduce the distance between Him and us until He is with us.