As I have so often reading the book of Job I struggled to find the meaning of the text for myself…or even in the larger context and so I searched for help. I liked what I read in the Asbury Commentary and wanted to share it with you:
Elihu’s fourth speech has two distinct parts. In the first part he moves beyond the penal concerns of the three comforters and emphasizes the remedial implications of suffering (36:1-25). In the second part Elihu focuses on God’s activities in nature, thereby anticipating the speeches of the Lord that follow (36:26-37:24).
Although God is mighty, he does not despise his creatures (36:5). Contrary to what Job claims (21:7), the wicked are not allowed to live (36:6). When the righteous suffer, it is to alert them to their sins (v. 9) and to lead them to repentance (v. 10). Through such suffering God speaks (v. 9). If the righteous learn from their discipline, prosperity and contentment will follow (v. 11). If they do not, doom will overtake them (v. 12). Elihu now applies this principle to Job (vv. 16-21), but this strophe is so problematic that it is not clear whether Elihu is encouraging or warning Job. While there is strong scriptural support for suffering being remedial in nature, the prologue precludes its application to Job. Job’s suffering is neither penal nor remedial. It is a demonstration of his integrity.
Elihu now turns to the greatness of God as revealed in nature (36:26-37:13). This portion begins with an emphasis on the power of God as seen in the storm. God has not only created the forces of nature, he controls them. He sends the rain (vv. 27-28), the thunder (v. 29), and the lightning (v. 30). The destructive qualities of the storm suggest God’s anger and his judgment (vv. 31-32). There is no break in thought here even though the speech extends into the next chapter where there is a shift from an attitude of awe to expectation. The thunder is recognized as the voice of God (vv. 29, 33; cf. Ps 29) and the medium of a theophany. It is in the storm that God frequently reveals himself (Ex 19:18ff.; Ps 18:7-15; Jn 12:29). These verses are a preparation for the theophany Job will experience.
Do you agree w/ this commentary or no?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 27-31