He is the God of the Storm
Scripture to meditate on:
“At this my heart pounds
and leaps from its place.
Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice,
to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven
and sends it to the ends of the earth.
After that comes the sound of his roar;
he thunders with his majestic voice.
When his voice resounds,
he holds nothing back.
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
So that everyone he has made may know his work,
he stops all people from their labor.
The animals take cover;
they remain in their dens.
The tempest comes out from its chamber,
the cold from the driving winds.
The breath of God produces ice,
and the broad waters become frozen.
He loads the clouds with moisture;
he scatters his lightning through them.
At his direction they swirl around
over the face of the whole earth
to do whatever he commands them.
He brings the clouds to punish people,
or to water his earth and show his love.
“Listen to this, Job;
stop and consider God’s wonders.
Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?
You who swelter in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze?
“Tell us what we should say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
Should he be told that I want to speak?
Would anyone ask to be swallowed up?
Now no one can look at the sun,
bright as it is in the skies
after the wind has swept them clean.
Out of the north he comes in golden splendor;
God comes in awesome majesty.
The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;
in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
Therefore, people revere him,
for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?” – Job 37
In the Ancient Near East (the time and place of the Book of Job) the people worshiped many gods. They attributed the wind not just to a “god of the wind” but to the god who –was- the wind. The rain did not come from the “god of the rain” but the god which –is- rain etc. For any event or series of events there would be a god or gods inhabiting the elements.
This is one of the things that made the Israelites unique among their neighbors. The Children of Israel were monotheists – they believed in the one true God, Yahweh. Their image of God was very different from the cultures that surrounded them on all sides. They recognized God as creator of all, ruling over all and outside of His creation.
So when Elihu speaks of “the voice of God over the waters” or “the voice of the Lord causing the oaks to whirl” he is saying something very specific and intentional about this early Israelite’s view of God.
This is not a remote anthropological issue. Our understanding of who the person of God is, has a direct affect on what we believe about how he engages and interacts in our lives. Elihu has given us a glimpse of is understanding of God. What is yours?
“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders.” – Job 37:14
Questions to ponder:
- Do you believe God is actively engaged in His creation?
- Do you believe God is actively engaged in the events of your life?
- How will those understandings affect the way you engage with God’s creation today?