Job 37:5, 13 God’s voice thunders in marvellous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. … He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love.
Much of what Elihu has to say to Job is THEOLOGICALLY sound and thoroughly consistent with the rest of God’s revelation in Scripture. (His big difficulty is that he only gives the human side of the story; and in the enthusiasm of youth he naively pushes that side with great confidence and verbosity, giving no ground to any other point of view, and even less to the possibility that on some points he might just be WRONG! It is ironical that in his observation: “[God] does great things beyond OUR understanding”, it seems he doesn’t think to include HIMSELF in the ‘OUR’! It therefore should not be lost on us that after his long speech occupying SIX chapters he is IGNORED by God, Job and the narrator.)
HOWEVER, at least in this part of his speech he very correctly draws our attention to an important point: it is the SOVEREIGN, Creator GOD who has complete control over every aspect of the weather. The thunder and lightning, and where it strikes, are at HIS bidding (2-4). The snow and showers, the torrential rain and storm and hail and tempest, and their impact on living things, are HIS work ALONE (6-12). He uses all things as part of his active will to demonstrate both his LOVE and his JUDGEMENT on mankind (13-17).
Because Elihu recognised this truth as fact but ‘beyond our understanding’, he should not have been so quick to judge Job’s character on the basis of that poor man’s suffering. Suffering is part of God’s gracious providence and we do well to see it as such in our own lives and in the lives of others, hard as this might be. With Job we must learn to say: “Shall we accept GOOD from God, and NOT TROUBLE?” (2:10), knowing that God always has our best interests at heart (Romans 8:28).
WE should keep ALL this in mind when we are impacted by the strong, God-denying humanistic voice of our culture trying to indoctrinate us about ‘climate change’, as well as when we identify fully with, and pray for, our fellow-believers who are presently suffering so much from the devastating effects of flood. Let us be very careful not to ‘judge’ those who are suffering so severely in the same way Elihu and his three friends (so wrongly) judged Job.