Devotional Readings

Job 36 – Sounds like very sound words….

Each time I read this I am impressed by the depth of truth contained in these words.

I think the risk here is even those who know the truth, must not presume a position of speaking on Gods behalf! Luckily, Elihu’s errors neither in falsely blaming Job, or in presenting a false God image.
Of Job’s friends his advice is the soundest. In chapter 42, John Gill comments: No notice is taken of Elihu, nor blame laid on him; he acting as a moderator, taking neither the part of Job, nor of his friends, but blaming both: nor did he pretend to charge Job with any sins of his former life as the cause of his calamities; only takes up some indecent, unguarded, and extravagant expressions of his in the heat of this controversy, and rebukes him for them; and throughout the whole vindicates the justice of God in his dealings with him.

Elihu Extols God’s Greatness

Job 36:1  Elihu also proceeded, and said,

Job 36:2  Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.

Job 36:3  I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

Job 36:4  For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.

Job 36:5  Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.

Job 36:6  He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.

Job 36:7  He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.

Job 36:8  And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;

Job 36:9  Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

Job 36:10  He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.

Job 36:11  If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

Job 36:12  But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.

Job 36:13  But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.

Job 36:14  They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.

Job 36:15  He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.

Job 36:16  Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.

Job 36:17  But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.

Job 36:18  Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

Job 36:19  Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.

Job 36:20  Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.

Job 36:21  Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.

Job 36:22  Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?

Job 36:23  Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?

Job 36:24  Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.

Job 36:25  Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off.

Job 36:26  Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.

Job 36:27  For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

Job 36:28  Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.

Job 36:29  Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?

Job 36:30  Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.

Job 36:31  For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.

Job 36:32  With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.

Job 36:33  The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.

This ending is curious, Gill writes clarifying just how nature knows what is happening.

Job 36:33

The noise thereof showeth concerning it,…. The rain, that it is coming; it is a presage and prognostic of it, namely, the noise of the clouds in the air, the sound of abundance of rain there; or the noise of the winds, which is often a forerunner of it: or the noise of thunder when rain frequently follows, Jer 10:13;

the cattle also concerning the vapour; that is, the cattle likewise show signs of rain, being sensible of the vapours which rise up out of the earth, and are drawn up into the air and form clouds there; these, through their sharp sight, discern the vapours rising out of the earth insensible by men; or by their quick smell (p) or taste discern them, these leaving some tincture upon the grass they are feeding on; and which occasion some motions and gestures in them by which husbandmen, and those that are accustomed to them, know that the rain is at hand: and there are various things observable in brutes, fowls, and cattle, and other creatures, which are signs of approaching rain; as the cawing of crows, the croaking of frogs, the flying about of cranes and swallows, the motion of ants, the retire of cattle to places of shelter, and the like; Aben Ezra observes that sheep lying on their right side portends rain; the above things with others are most beautifully expressed by Virgil (q) and which with many others are collected together by Pliny (r); and though there are various interpretations given of this passage, this seems to be the most agreeable, and which suits with our version; unless the following, which I only propose, should be more eligible, “he”, that is, God, “by it“, the rain, “declares his good will” to men, likewise to “the cattle, and also towards what rises up” out of the earth, the herbs and plants; all which receive much benefit by the clouds and rain.

(p) Vid. Democrit. Fragment. & Rendtorf. Not. in ib. apud Fabritii Bibliothec. Gr. l. 4. c. 29. p. 338, 362. (q)”Aut illum surgentem vallibus imis”, c. Georgic, l. 1. v. 374, &c. Bacon’s Nat. Hist. cent. 9. p. 208. (r) Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 35. Vid. Democrit. Fragm. ut supra, p. 335, 358, 362, 366.

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