God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
Whether for correction or for his land
or for love, he causes it to happen.
When going through times of difficulty, conflict or strife, it is natural for people to wonder “why?”. Why me, why this, why now? This is the common, default response. Which is why it can be helpful to have someone like Elihu in our life to encourage us to not respond naturally but rather supernaturally.
In a sense, Elihu’s encouragement can best be summed up as, “God is God and you are not. He does things that is beyond our comprehension and regardless of His reasons, He is the one that causes it to happen to fulfill His purposes.”
Perhaps Steven Curtis Chapman was inspired by Elihu when he wrote the song, God is God. If you read through the lyrics, you’ll see a lot of similarities with what is being communicated by Elihu in Job 37.
Sometimes the best questions to ask when we find ourselves in the midst of life’s tempest is not “why?” but rather “who?”, “what?”, and “how?”.
The “who?” question is the easiest to answer. It is the Lord, the creator and sustainer of Heaven and earth who causes and allows things to happen.
Here are a couple other, more challenging, profound and helpful questions to ask:
- What does the Lord want to reveal to me about Himself?
- What does the Lord want to reveal about myself?
- What does the Lord want to accomplish through this?
- What is the Lord’s will in this?
- How can I bring glory to God through this?
- How can I respond to this in a way that is pleasing and brings honor to God?
I guess I have one last thought on this. My experience says that it is much easier to be an Elihu than it is to receive counsel from an Elihu. My prayer is that I would both offer and receive counsel with grace and humility. For the glory of God and the testimony of His church.