11-21-14. Job 37:15-24. There are glimpses of the Gospel, even in Elihu’s speech-my devotional

Job 37:15-24. There are glimpses of the Gospel, even in Elihu’s speech. – Kevin E. Jesmer `11-21-14

Key verse 37:23, 24

“23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. 24 Therefore, people revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?”


There are glimpses of the Gospel, even in Elihu’s speech in Job 37:15-24. He may not have even known what he was saying, but it is there. Elihu asks Job to stop to consider two things; his own human limitations and the mighty works of God (14). The end result of such reflection is to know how helpless we are to reach God on our own. Then he draws the conclusion that God does not oppress and that we are to revere God and in true wisdom come before him. Let’s see…

First, consider your human condition. Job is like any other person, very limited. Look at verses 15-18, “15 Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? 16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? 17 You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind, 18 can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?”  God’s controls natural elements. He has perfect knowledge. But we are steeped in weakness. When it is hot outside, we swelter in our clothes, subject to the elements. On our own volition we can not join God in his wonderful works. However he does draw us alongside him as he des his work. This is by his grace alone. Knowing our human condition prepares our heart to meet Jesus personally.

Second, consider the separation that exists between people and God Almighty. Look at verses 19-23, “Tell us what we should say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness. 20 Should he be told that I want to speak? Would anyone ask to be swallowed up? 21 Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean. 22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty. 23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.” There is a huge separation between us and God. God is almighty. In our fallen state, we are mired in the darkness and therefore helpless to draw up our case before the great king. God is extremely holy, so holy that he lives in unapproachable light. God is so majestic, so awesome so splendorous. Indeed, God is beyond our human attempts to reach him.

Is there any way to connect with this majestic and awesome God? Yes there is. Elihu, unknowingly alludes to it in verses 23, “The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.”  Yes, God is beyond our reach. Yes, God is exalted in power and we are struggling in our weaknesses and our sins. Yes his is just and righteous. He is all of these things. Normally these qualities would separate us from God for eternity. But Elihu says,…..”he does not oppress.”  (23)

God could oppress us. In fact, before meeting Jesus, we were heading towards the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10 reads, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  We were separated from God because of our sins and like separated (cut) branches, we would wither and die only to be gathered and burned. (John 15:6) In all of this we could not blame God. It is because of our sin.

But this is not the end for those who have faith in Jesus. For such people, God “does not oppress.” He does not oppress because he forgives. He overlooks our offenses. He deals with us with grace. God is still just and righteous and awesome, even though he forgives and accepts sinners. He can do this because of Jesus. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus is the ransom sacrifice sent to this world to be sacrificed on the cross and procure for us the complete forgiveness of sins. That is why John the Baptist cries out in John 1:29, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”  God does not oppress sinners because of Jesus our Redeemer, our Savior. His shed blood opened all people, who were lost in the darkness of sin to come to God and taste his salvation. God is good. He does not oppress.

Because God does not oppress sinners, we can come to him and revere him (24). Without this grace we would only be living in fear, despair and condemnation. But Jesus sets us free indeed! We can worship him and love him and admire him. God will accept us as we come before the thrown of God.

      God recognizes and rewards true wisdom. Look at verse 24b,“…Does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?” (24b)  The truly wise in heart seek the Lord. There is a saying, concerning the Magi, who sought Jesus in a manger. The saying goes, “Wise men still seek him.”  Those who seek the Lord, early find him. Proverbs 8:17 reads, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” One verse that I hold onto is Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  God is gracious. He is forgiving. He has a regard for the wise in heart, especially for those with wisdom to seek his face and his kingdom as top priority in their lives. God is the one who imparts even this “mustard seed” of wisdom. All this is made possible because if Jesus and the Gospel. Thank you Lord. We revere you!

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