The hymn to the divine power over the climate (Job 36:24-36:37)

“Remember to extol his work!

Men have sung to his work.

All people have looked on it.

Everyone watches it from far away.

Surely God is great!

We do not know him.

The number of his years is unsearchable.

He draws up the drops of water.

He distils his mist in rain.

The skies pour down rain.

Rain drops upon mortals abundantly.

Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds?

Can anyone understand the thundering of his pavilion?

See!

He scatters his lightning around him.

He covers the roots of the sea.

For by these he judges peoples.

He gives food in abundance.

He covers his hands with the lightning.

He commands it to strike the mark.

Its crashing tells about him.

He is jealous with anger against iniquity.”

Elihu wanted Job to understand and extol the power of God over the climate we live in. Interesting enough I began working on this the day that Pope Francis I issued his encyclical on the climate “Laudato Si.” Yet here, Elihu in his hymn clearly sees God as the controller of the climate. God controls the rain, so that quite often we pray to God for more or less rain. This is especially true in strong farming communities. They also pray for good harvests from the land. We have seen both drought and over flooding this year in the USA. God has control over thunder and lightning as well as the seas.   God is jealous and angry against the wicked. Perhaps we do not pray to God enough about the climate. Just as we have moved from the poetic flat world concept of sunrise and sunset to the earth moving around the sun, so too we might see climate as not the poetic unique concern of God alone, but see the impact of human actions on the climate also.

Where can you find wisdom? (Job 28:12-28:19)

“But where shall wisdom be found?

Where is the place of understanding?

Mortals do not know the way to it.

It is not found in the land of the living.

The deep says.

‘It is not in me.’

The sea says.

‘It is not with me.’

It cannot be gotten for gold.

Silver cannot be weighed out as its price.

It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir.

It cannot be valued in precious onyx or sapphire.

Gold and glass cannot equal it.

It cannot be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal.

The price of wisdom is above pearls.

The chrysolite topaz of Ethiopia cannot compare with it.

It cannot be valued in pure gold.”

The important question remains, “Where can this wisdom be found?” In a beautiful colorful response this biblical author says where it is not to be found. No mortal humans have this wisdom since it cannot be found among the land of the living. It cannot be found in the oceans or seas. You cannot buy it either. No matter how much gold or silver you have, wisdom is more valuable. You cannot measure it with precious stones, glass, or gold. Coral, crystals, topaz, and pure gold are all less valuable than wisdom. Ophir is the place to find gold, while Ethiopia was the place of topaz. Wisdom is beyond any human knowledge or any precious item here on earth.