Here in Job 37.14-20 we see Elihu giving Job one last piece of advice and he asks, simply, are you really all that you think you are, Job? Do you know all that you think you know?
“Hear this, O Job;
stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
Do you know how God lays his command upon them
and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
you whose garments are hot
when the earth is still because of the south wind?
Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
hard as a cast metal mirror?
Teach us what we shall say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
Shall it be told him that I would speak?
Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?
Despite his relative youth (32.6-10), Elihu seems to be hitting closer to home with his questions of Job. Rather than just suggest that Job must have sinned somewhere, somehow (32.3), Elihu seems to have considered his response a little more deeply.
Elihu asks probing questions of Job to show that, really, you can’t understand what is truly going on here (Do you know…do you know…can you, like Him…teach us…). Elihu still holds to this idea that Job has sinned, but at least he frames the idea better that the other counsellors on hand. At the core, Elihu seems to be saying, look Job, you cannot understand all of these wonderful workings of God, so you have no chance of understanding the mystery of why you are suffering so.
Elihu is right, isn’t he? We cannot know how the Lord lays out the skies as a master artist paints a picture, we cannot understand the wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge, we cannot spread out skies, we cannot know ever truly know what to say to Him who sits on the throne, we just don’t know.
Where does this leave us? What does this leave us with?
It leaves us with trust, and with faith. There are things we will never see or understand this side of eternity (Isaiah 55.8-11), but, as Corrie Ten Boom said,
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
So, learn all you can about our known God, and trust the unknown to Him!