Who is God? What is he like? How great is he? Why did he create the world? I don’t know if you are like me or not. But those are questions I ask. And answers I search for. Elihu’s response to Job in this passage does not answer all these. But it does point me to a fuller understanding.
Look up at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds so high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect him?
If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,
and your righteousness only other people.
“Look up at the heavens and see.” Elihu understands the heavens to be God’s dwelling place. But his words here point out just how much beyond us God is. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high is God above us who dwell on the ground. It is not just that he dwells on high. But he is that much greater than we are. He is not like us.
Elihu’s words go on to illustrate that difference. My sin, no matter how many or how vile, does not affect him. Nor does my righteousness. That does not mean that he is indifferent to what I do. But no matter what I do, he is not changed. He is still Sovereign God, regardless of my submission to him or rebellion against his rule.
This passage in Job does not answer all my questions about God. But it does point out to me the greatness of God. That he is much greater than I am. And that he did not give me life because of anything I could do for him. He is unchanged by anything I could possibly do.
So why did he create me if I have nothing to offer him? Could it be because of what he had to offer me? His love, mercy, and grace? Eternal life in his glorious presence? What an amazing God who has invited us to be a part of his family. Not just for a few years. But for eternity. He truly is worthy of our praise.