“Keep listening to the thunder of his voice and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.”
When I was a young boy, I loved snow days! And we usually had at least one every school year.
When a heavy snow was predicted for the Chicago area, I would watch the news the night before with anticipation that the weatherman would forecast eight or more inches of snow. Then I knew that we would most likely not have school the next day!
When I woke up the next morning I would rush downstairs and turn on the Ray Rayner show. I knew that if school had been canceled on account of the snowstorm, Ray would announce it.
He would read through the list of school closings and when he finally said, “St. Paul Lutheran School in Round Lake” I let out a whoop! I ran back upstairs, got on my snow pants and coat, hat and gloves, and headed outside to play!
I have not outgrown my love of snowdays! But I am more aware and wary of weather now that I’m an adult and a father than I ever was as a kid.
I’ve told the story about how a windstorm blew off part of the roof of our house in Wisconsin in the devotion Natural and Special Revelation.
I’ve become somewhat of a weather-junky. I used to love watching the Weather Channel – until they started show all kinds of produced weather documentaries. Now, I try to never miss a Tom Skilling weather forecast on WGN Channel 9 in Chicago (he’s even showed some of my pictures I’ve taken of the aftermath of a snowfall around my house over the last couple of years).
Weather seems to be so out of control. That’s because there really isn’t anything we can do to control the weather. It will rain or be sunny without us ever doing anything. It will snow or be 100 degrees even if we do everything within our power to stop it from snowing or getting so hot!
We are literally powerless with it comes to the weather.
But God is not!
In Job Chapter 37, Elihu concludes his monologue by talking about the weather. Specifically, how the power and majesty of God is evidenced in the weather.
As Elihu gets up to speak to Job and the friends that have gathered, off to the west black clouds are gathering.
During Elihu’s discourse with Job, the storm is gathering behind him. Roiling clouds, boiling with thunder and lightning are barreling towards them.
Flashes of lightning and claps of thunder punctuate Elihu’s words.
Elihu says, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4) and the west wind picks up and whips around them.
Elihu proclaims, “Keep listening to the thunder of his voice and the rumbling that comes from his mouth. Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth” (Job 37:2-3) and flashes of lightning and deep, booming thunder sound forth.
Elihu points to the storm that is coming, and is now here, and tells us that this is the power of God that teaches, reproves, corrects, and trains in righteousness (see 2 Timothy 3:16).
It is out of this particular storm that God will speak and reveal himself to Job.
When we go through storms in life – literal weather-storms, the storms of illness, despair, pain or death, storms of our own making, or storms that come our way completely unexpected – remember that God is with us in the midst of the storm!
And remember this: God can calm storms (Jesus did it twice – see Matthew 8 and John 6). But when God doesn’t calm the storm, he calms your heart as you go through the storm (see the same passages that surround the calming of the storm)!
Praise the God of heaven and earth the next time you see a storm, a majestic sunrise or sunset, and anytime that you are going through a storm. Because God is in all of that and, in Christ Jesus, he is in you!
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