Great Things We Cannot Comprehend

The technological advancement made possible by modern science boggles the mind. The information available at our fingertips on a smartphone we take for granted, despite how brief a time we have enjoyed this technology. Rarely do we consider that we now hold in the palm of our hands far more computing power than what put men on the moon. The intricacies of nanotechnology and organic chemistry elude me, but some work with these every day. We take the theory of relativity for granted (unless we work in string theory formulations). We communicate around the world on handheld devices sending signals, in some cases, to man-made satellites orbiting the earth while simultaneously looking up information on Google. Sometimes it seems like we can learn anything we want to know just by asking Siri (or Cortana or Alexis, etc.). But this easy access to information through technology has also led men to overestimate their knowledge, their abilities, and their wisdom—and that quite regularly. 

As Elihu concluded his critique of Job’s call for God to explain Himself, he focused his attention on just a few, readily available examples from nature to demonstrate that our knowledge does not come close to approaching God’s; therefore, we should accept His wisdom instead of acting as if He owes us an explanation. Elihu then reminded Job of the power of a thunderstorm, under God’s control and yet completely beyond ours (Job. 37:1-5). He pointed out the vast difference between the limitless character of God in nature compared to the limited nature of man (Job 37:6-7). God controls the seasons and has provided for every last detail of nature that they might affect (Job 37:8-13), but we are completely subject to the changes in climate. Despite all of their claims, scientists still do not understand how and why the climate changes and runs through various cycles (Job 37:14-17). After all, we are still working on methods to predict the next day’s weather with perfect accuracy. And we surely cannot change the weather to accommodate our preferences! With all of the flights that take place daily and all of our adventures into space, they still represent our limits rather than our capabilities (Job 37:18-19). Therefore, Elihu concludes, it is not our place to question God any more than it would be a good idea to stare into the sun (Job 37:20-21). Either way we would be overwhelmed with the power.

How should we then respond to life, and especially to God, for “He does great things which we cannot comprehend” (Job 37:5b)? Elihu makes the following recommendation: “Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14b), for “With God is awesome majesty (Job 37:22b). In other words, rather than lifting ourselves up and questioning God’s wisdom, we should begin by remembering how majestic and wise He truly is. Indeed, should we ever contemplate whether we are being treated unfairly by life, we should remember that “He is excellent in power, In judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress” (Job 37:23). We may never understand all the reasons why life presents us with so many trials, but our response should ever be to fear God with confidence, knowing that “He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart” (Job 37:24). 

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