July 27, 2021

Trying to Look at the Sun 

Job 36–37

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Elihu Extols God's Greatness

And Elihu continued, and said:

“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.
I will get...

Elihu Extols God's Greatness

And Elihu continued, and said:

“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.
I will get my knowledge from afar
    and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words are not false;
    one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any;
    he is mighty in strength of understanding.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
    but gives the afflicted their right.
He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
    but with kings on the throne
    he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
And if they are bound in chains
    and caught in the cords of affliction,
then he declares to them their work
    and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
10  He opens their ears to instruction
    and commands that they return from iniquity.
11  If they listen and serve him,
    they complete their days in prosperity,
    and their years in pleasantness.
12  But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword
    and die without knowledge.

13  The godless in heart cherish anger;
    they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14  They die in youth,
    and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15  He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
    and opens their ear by adversity.
16  He also allured you out of distress
    into a broad place where there was no cramping,
    and what was set on your table was full of fatness.

17  But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;
    judgment and justice seize you.
18  Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,
    and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19  Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
    or all the force of your strength?
20  Do not long for the night,
    when peoples vanish in their place.
21  Take care; do not turn to iniquity,
    for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22  Behold, God is exalted in his power;
    who is a teacher like him?
23  Who has prescribed for him his way,
    or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?

24  Remember to extol his work,
    of which men have sung.
25  All mankind has looked on it;
    man beholds it from afar.
26  Behold, God is great, and we know him not;
    the number of his years is unsearchable.
27  For he draws up the drops of water;
    they distill his mist in rain,
28  which the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.
29  Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
    the thunderings of his pavilion?
30  Behold, he scatters his lightning about him
    and covers the roots of the sea.
31  For by these he judges peoples;
    he gives food in abundance.
32  He covers his hands with the lightning
    and commands it to strike the mark.
33  Its crashing declares his presence; 1
    the cattle also declare that he rises.

Elihu Proclaims God's Majesty

At this also my heart trembles
    and leaps out of its place.
Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
    and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
    and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
After it his voice roars;
    he thunders with his majestic voice,
    and he does not restrain the lightnings 2 when his voice is heard.
God thunders wondrously with his voice;
    he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
    likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
He seals up the hand of every man,
    that all men whom he made may know it.
Then the beasts go into their lairs,
    and remain in their dens.
From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
    and cold from the scattering winds.
10  By the breath of God ice is given,
    and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11  He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
    the clouds scatter his lightning.
12  They turn around and around by his guidance,
    to accomplish all that he commands them
    on the face of the habitable world.
13  Whether 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.
15  Do you know how God lays his command upon them
    and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16  Do you know the balancings 3 of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
17  you whose garments are hot
    when the earth is still because of the south wind?
18  Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
    hard as a cast metal mirror?
19  Teach us what we shall say to him;
    we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
20  Shall 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.
22  Out of the north comes golden splendor;
    God is clothed with awesome majesty.
23  The Almighty—we cannot find him;
    he is great in power;
    justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
24  Therefore men fear him;
    he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.” 4


[1] 36:33 Hebrew declares concerning him
[2] 37:4 Hebrew them
[3] 37:16 Or hoverings
[4] 37:24 Hebrew in heart

Trying to Look at the Sun 

Key Verse | Job 37:22b-23

"God is clothed with awesome majesty.
The Almighty—we cannot find him;
he is great in power;
justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate."

Bio | Abbey Drillette

Howdy, friends! 

I am a loud, proud Aggie turned Dallas gal! The Lord used His people here at Watermark to reveal His goodness to me and radically change my life in the summer of 2017. Since then, the Lord has given me a heart to pour into women, and I get to do that with my high schoolers in Shoreline and with our Community Groups! When I have some free time, you can find me with friends or on a hiking trip being reminded of the majesty of our Heavenly Father.

Happy reading, and happy Porch Day!

Central Truth

Even when we don't understand God's plan, He is working for our good.

Devotional | Job 36–37

If I'm being entirely honest, there were a lot of things in 2020 that I didn't love. Whether it was COVID-19 shutting everything down, leaving a job without the opportunity to say "good-bye" to...

If I'm being entirely honest, there were a lot of things in 2020 that I didn't love. Whether it was COVID-19 shutting everything down, leaving a job without the opportunity to say "good-bye" to coworkers, the political state of our country, or you name it; there was plenty that I wasn't a fan of and definitely didn't understand why it was happening. And my life in 2020 looks EASY compared to Job's.

The book starts with Job losing everything, followed by his friends telling him how he is probably getting punished for some hidden sin, which then leads to even Job questioning God.

Like Job, I can easily start to question why God is doing something when I feel like things aren't going my way. Through entitlement and complaining, I "cherish anger" in my heart (Job 36:13). Yet God "does great things that we cannot comprehend" (Job 37:5), and in His kindness, God used Job's friend Elihu to remind him of the majesty of God.

In just these two chapters, we see that God is mighty, exalted, a teacher, great, unsearchable, wondrous, clothed with awesome majesty, great in power, just, abundantly righteous; and He "does not despise any" (Job 36:5). God, who is everything on this list and more, works for the good of His creation (Job 37:13) in ways that we can't understand. When we don't necessarily understand why things happen, we do know that we are known by the Almighty and that He desires all to know Him (1 Timothy 2:4). What a comfort that the Almighty Creator of all things is on our side.

I want to leave you with the imagery we're given in Job 37:21-22. We would never look directly at the sun and try to fully understand what it looks like. But we do know and trust that the sun is the source of life for the world and all its inhabitants. In the same way, we can never fully understand who God is and why He does certain things. But we can rest in the fact that He is the source of life for us.

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Discussion Questions

1. Is there something in your life right now that is causing you to question God and cherish anger? What is it?

2. What are things that you run to when you doubt God's goodness?

3. Have you trusted that God has good in store for you? Why or why not?

4. Do you have people in your life to remind you of God's goodness? If not, what is holding you back from getting connected to your local church? 

5. Reach out to your community or whoever recommended Join The Journey to you. Let them know your answers to questions 1-3, and ask them to join you in praying that you would see God's goodness.

9 Comments available

Caren Austen about 2 months ago

(continuation of my first comment) I lived with her and her family for a while when she had her first brain tumor. I was standing near her when she received an anticipated call from her doctor. When she told me it was good news, I responded with, “Oh, Holly, God is so good.” She immediately turned to me and said the words I return to over and over when life gets hard, “Mom, God is good even when the news is not.” Profound. We even had T-shirts with that truth emblazoned on them in her honor. Jeremiah 29:11 also reminds us that His plans for us, His people, are always good.

Caren Austen about 2 months ago

Tagging on to your Central Truth, which is affirmed in 2 Corinthians 12:9.10, I will share a story from my life that God uses to remind me of His goodness in all things. My older daughter was born with cystic fibrosis (CF), a chronic and fatal illness. At 42, she has lived beyond what we could ever have hoped for, but her life has been and continues to be fraught with daily suffering. Not only does she deal with the rigors and trials of CF, but she has also experienced two malignant brain tumors and thyroid cancer. She has CF-related diabetes, CF-associated arthritis, and gastroparesis (paralyzed stomach), which means she cannot eat, and must get all her nutrition from a feeding tube. This is the backdrop for her amazing faith. (continued)

Linda Green about 2 months ago

Thankful for your faithful words, Abbey, to encourage me to throw away the entitlement mentality- it will wreck me.

Job 36:21 stood out to me today: choosing iniquity (sin) instead of affliction (suffering).That has been true so many times in my life, but choosing sin just brought deeper suffering.

Someone said once that when we see the whole picture, we will realize that God really is just and loving in His actions. We will know the rest of the story and be in full agreement with our Creator. Looking so forward to that day- Revelation 22:20!

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

Thanks, Abbey!

Elihu’s speech, where he points to the majesty and sovereignty of God over creation, is like an on-ramp to where Yahweh is going to pound Job with questions that basically say, “You don’t know what you’re talking 'bout, boy!”

In creating my “red letter Bible” this year (underlining everything God says directly, Old Testament and New, with red pen), I am glad to be firing up my pen . . . it’s been awhile since I needed it.

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

2 of 2

Afterwards, the thick salty air of the marsh would fill my nostrils and cover me in a womb of velvet.

How could anyone experience this over and over and not have an intense understanding of God?

Many years later I would regularly walk the streets of Manhattan and see the works of man. What a difference! What cold emptiness!

My two key verses bracket the passage:

36:26 “Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.”

37:14 “Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.”

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

1 of 2

GM Abbey. Like you, I gladly bid farewell and good riddance to 2020, the year of COVID. Love your Key Verse and Central Truth. Well done.

As a young boy I came to know something of God’s character by seeing His power in nature and in weather.

So, I am naturally drawn to Job 36:27-37:13.

On the barrier islands outside Savannah, GA the saltmarshes represent the amazing complexity and beauty of His creation. The massive oaks dripping Spanish Moss stand like sentinels to the majesty and glory of God.

The nearly unbearable heat and humidity brings forth incredibly intense storms that race across the marshes and crash down on the islands- then the mainland.

I would watch lightning strike the marshes over and over. It was accompanied by ear-pounding thunder.

Greg Jones 2 months ago

Elihu to Job-“For truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you…But you(Job) are full of the judgment on the wicked; judgment and justice seize you.

God to ha Satan-“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

Elihu to Job-Consider your children this way Job36:13-16

Elihu’s best line-“Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,”

ha Satan meaning-the accuser Elihu name meaning-my God is he

Compared to Elihu Satan can be a saint.

“Like Job through entitlement and complaining, I…” I totally get that. Concerning Job I disagree.

Authority will sometimes teach, “a sense of entitlement is wrong and complaining is a sure sign of it,” as an accusation. Honest complaint as entitlement.should be taught when suppressed. Wisdom of Job.

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

Elihu will say things that one might say God will build on

14 Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.

God will ask about 70 questions about Job’s limited of knowledge of creation which is part of the wondrous works of God.

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

Elihu will gave a strong reason for suffering which doesn’t involve evil. Perhaps the first in the book

Job 36:15 ESV “He rescues the afflicted by their afflictions and opens their ears by adversity”

God uses affliction as an instrument of God’s deliverance sometimes. Different translations will translate it differently (‘by’ like ESV or ‘in’ like NASB) It is argues the word implies an instrument of which is why ESV has ‘by’.

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