The discussion has included many references to nature and weather. Maybe it has been spoken in the midst of a storm and as a clap of thunder sounds overhead, startling all five of the men. Elihu picks up the conversation again with renewed vigor, possibly gesturing toward the sky as he speaks about the storm of life in which Job is caught.
For the patriarchs, there is really no greater mystery in the natural world than the weather. What keeps the rain up in the sky, or what makes it fall to the earth? Why does water sometimes freeze and sometimes dry up? What is lightning and thunder? Weather impacts every part of their lives, determining whether or not they can farm and pasture animals, where they can live, and if they can live. Since none of these questions can be answered with scientific explanations yet, societies invent gods whom they think control it all. Ancient people hope that by doing or saying the right thing, they can convince the god to send rain when it is needed or stop the damaging hail before their roofs cave in. These pagan worshipers aren’t too far off in their thinking; they just have the wrong god.
The Lord’s followers have the answer right in believing He controls it all. When they look at the weather, they see God’s power. As God will expound upon Himself shortly, the One who controls the weather is the One who created it. He put order in the cosmos, although humans may not always understand its order, just as He organized everything else. God, who has perfect understanding and unimaginable power, cannot be comprehended with the human mind and should not be questioned by the likes of Job.
37 Elihu: At this, my heart quivers,
and it nearly leaps out of my chest.
2 Listen! Listen to the raging anger in His voice,
the rumbling that’s coming from His mouth!
3 He sets the roar loose across the whole length of the sky,
and His lightning flashes to the ends of the earth.
4 After the flash comes the deafening roar of His voice,
the voice that thunders His majesty—
The voice that resounds with no evidence of restraint,
5 the voice of God that is thundering wondrously.
He does magnificent things, beyond our comprehension.
6 To the snow, He issues the order: “Go! Fall on the earth!”
And to the rain shower, He says, “Show your power; beat down heavy on the earth!”
7 Then, as the weather drives laborers indoors,
He closes in around every human hand,
sealing them off from their labors,
and in forced rest, all are drawn to see the ongoing work of God.
8 The beast of the field scampers for cover,
hiding in its cave for the duration.
9 Meanwhile, the whirlwind comes forth from its southern chamber,
and the arctic winds bring the cold.
10 From the breath of God ice forms,
and the wide waters of the rivers and seas expand in the freeze.
11 He weighs down the thick clouds with moisture,
and they scatter His clusters of light.
12 The storm changes course under His guidance;
it moves as He directs over the contours of the entire earth.
13 And what is His aim? Whether for the discipline of His people
or for the sake of the earth itself,
Or as an expression of His deep, loyal love,
He causes all of this to happen.
14 Hear this, Job.
Pause where you are, and ponder the wonders of God.
15 Do you know how God orchestrates these marvels?
How He makes the clouds flash with lightning?
16 Do you know how those same clouds are hung up in the sky or how they move?
Do you know the wonders of God, who is perfect in His knowledge of such things?
17 You, who feel the wind of His voice even now,
are the same one whose clothes are hot to the touch
when God makes the land go still beneath the south wind.
18 Can you assist God in hammering out the silver sky
until it appears as hard as cast metal mirror?[a]
19 Job, tell us what to say to Him.
We cannot draw up our argument before such impenetrable darkness.
20 Shall He be told that I wish to speak to Him directly?
Will it help if I admit I would be consumed if I did?
21 But now no one can see the brightness of the light through the thick clouds;
as the wind changes and blows through the sky, it clears the air.
22 From the north, the weather changes;
golden skies encircle God, now clothed in awesome majesty.
23 We cannot find the Highest One:[b]
He is exalted in power,
Great in righteousness,
and does not depreciate humanity.
24 This is why mortals fear Him;
He doesn’t see the wise of heart.[c]