Drinking in Derision Like Water—Job 34
The End of Counting Time in the Ministry

Job 36-37: Elihu Continues. More Lessens to be Drawn

As to the suffering humans go through from time to time: “But if they are bound in shackles And caught in ropes of affliction, He reveals to them what they have done, Their transgressions caused by their pride. He opens their ears to correction.” (Job 36:8-10)

Sometimes he ‘reveals to them what they have done’ by incapacitating them for so long that their thoughts at last roll around to the subject. It may be a long long time, for we are a dense lot. It may even be after the trial has passed and we reflect upon whether any lessons can be drawn from it or not, and at last conclude they can. However:

“The godless at heart will harbor resentment. They do not cry for help even when he binds them.” (36:13) Sure. They just bellyache forever about being wronged. Alas, who isn’t wronged by something or someone at one time or another? How will one respond to it?

“They die while still young, Spending their life among male temple prostitutes.” (vs 14) Let’s just politely pass over this one as something that may have been time-sensitive.

“But God rescues the afflicted during their affliction; He opens their ear when they are oppressed.” (vs 15) Ditto the above remarks on vs 8-10. Then afterward, “he draws you away from the brink of distress To a broad space, free of restriction, With rich food on your table as consolation. (16)

He is pretty powerful, God is:

“For he says to the snow, ‘Fall to the earth,’ And to the downpour of rain, ‘Pour down mightily.’ God puts a stop to all human activity So that every mortal man will know His work.” (Job 37:6-7)

Yeah—like the Bills game he put a stop to—postponed due to snow. The wind blows west to east across the Great Lakes and God help you if you have build a stadium on the eastern end. Not only that, but Elon has to cancel his rockets every other day due to sucky weather. Many things more serious happen, too. Sometimes I think that’s why equatorial regions generally tail the developed world—it’s too hot to want to do anything there. Nor are people sitting too pretty after God has been saying, ‘Pour down mightily’ to the rain for any length of time. How pretty can you be as your house slides into the ravine?

“The storm wind blows from its chamber, And the cold comes from the north winds. . . .[backtracking] The wild animals go into their dens And remain in their lairs.”(8-9)

In my part of the world, they go to Florida as “sunbirds.” Though, sometimes they go to Florida, are dismayed at the heat, and come halfway back to settle in Virginia or area of similar latitude to become “halfbacks.” But if they stay in Florida, they must learn that if you miss a turn, you do not just turn around in a driveway to correct your course. You must drive all the way around a massive block, five to ten miles or so, to finish the job. Traffic is an abomination and few roads that go anywhere have less than six packed lanes.

“[Humans] cannot even see the light, Though it is bright in the sky, Until a wind passes by and clears away the clouds.” (Job 37:21)

Yeah, it doesn’t take much to kneecap them, does it? It’s an object lesson drawing on physical realities to show how humans are not in the best position to tell God how to run the universe.

“Understanding the Almighty is beyond our reach.” (vs 23)

This is a little less so than when the verse was written; some of His gimmicks we have figured out—but still basically it is true. It is rather like when Newton, Kepler, Galileo and others described physical laws of the universe. Far from thinking they were burying God, they supposed they were glorifying him by revealing just the orderly manner in which he worked. But they still only scratched the surface towards ‘understanding the Almighty.’ Later scientists would uncover major disorder in the subatomic universe and yet still somehow God makes it all work.

Here and there, Elihu draws in material unknown in his day, even without the help of Newton, Kepler, and Galileo. “He draws up the drops of water; They condense into rain from his mist; Then the clouds pour it down; They shower down upon mankind,” he casually lets drop at 36:27-28, describing the water cycle and giving full credence to ones insisting that the Bible’s real author disseminates such tidbits well beyond the science of its day.

“Listen to this, Job; Stop and consider carefully the wonderful works of God.” (37:14) . . . “Understanding the Almighty is beyond our reach; He is great in power, And he never violates his justice and abundant righteousness.” (23) It will work out if you hang in there and hang in there as long as it takes. And even if you don’t, maybe you can make it all good later.

“Therefore, people should fear him. For he does not favor any who think that they are wise.” (24)

If he doesn’t, then I won’t either. Few things are more insufferable than the wise instructing the great unwashed in the principles of sound reasoning, always with the assumption that it goes without saying they themselves are in full compliance.

And with these final words of Elihu, the opening act for God’s appearance is complete. There will be an ever-so-brief intermission during which time you may sip drinks and use the restrooms. Do not say as I did to my newly-betrothed wife who didn’t yet fully understand my sense or humor during intermission at the Shaw Festival where everyone was dressed the nines: “Here’s people we don’t hang out with often—‘the wicked!” drawing upon Psalm 73. I know, I know. Completely unfair. No doubt most of them were nice. My newly-betrothed wife looked at me oddly.


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Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'



Water cycle, Carbon cycle, and Nitrogen cycle, too?
He draws up the drops of water;
They condense into rain from his mist;
Then the clouds pour it down;
They shower down upon mankind.
Can anyone understand the layers of clouds,
The thundering from his tent?
See how he spreads his lightning over it
And covers the depths of the sea.
By these he sustains the peoples;
He gives them food in abundance.

Compton’s Encyclopedia states: “Lightning produces significant chemical changes in the atmosphere. As a stroke moves through the air, it generates tremendous heat that unites nitrogen and oxygen to form nitrates [like nitric oxide] and other compounds. These compounds fall to the Earth with the rain. In this way, the atmosphere is able continually to help replenish the supply of nutrients that soil needs to produce plants.”

Nitric oxide again!

“Nitric oxide (NO) is an essential gaseous signaling molecule made of one nitrogen and one oxygen atom. The discovery in 1998 by three scientists that NO is the endothelial-derived compound responsible for relaxing and dilating arteries won them the Nobel Prize that year, after NO was already named "Molecule of the Year" in 1992.” https://www.rupahealth.com/post/nitric-oxide

I'm not sure if even then, they’d figured out that interfering with that “nitrogen cycle”, -taking blood out of circulation, storing it , and then transfusing this nitric oxide-depleted [waste?] product- was not so “life-saving” after all?

["molecule of the year" ! :) ]

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