2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 11, December 3-9, Out of the Whirlwind
Sunday, December 4
As Elihu makes his closing remarks as a defender of God’s reputation, he uses the illustration of how God maintains the seasons, and the direction of weather changes observed by all creation. “Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: the cold out of the north. By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattered his bright cloud: And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commanders them upon the face of the world in the earth. He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.” KJV, Job 37:9-13.
When we read the whole chapter, it is almost like Elihu sees an approaching storm and tells Job, “Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth…. God thundereth with his voice; great things doth he, which we cannot comprehend.” KJV, 37:2, 5.
It is easy to hear what sounds like thunder, and wonder at its expression in the clear, blue sky. Such was the reaction to those unbelieving Jews at the temple. Jesus prayed, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.” KJV, John 12:27-29.
So now with Job. Elihu draws his attention to the phenomenon of nature that is happening within his sight, and then God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1).
The transition between Elihu, who acts–according to Job’s wish–“in God’s stead” (33:6), and God–acting in His own stead–is seamless. Elihu warned, “Teach us what we shall say unto [God]; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness. Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.” KJV, 37:19, 20. God begins with the gentle rebuke, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” KJV, 38:2, 3.
Job is about to be schooled. The Master Teacher has arrived. The quiz will now be taken.