Job 36 … Consider Him Who Is Beyond Our Understanding

“Behold, God is exalted, and we do not know Him;
The number of His years is unsearchable,”
(36:26).

Perhaps Elihu’s own words should have stopped him in his tracks. If I am learning anything from my time in Job, it is that we do not really know Him; for He is too far above us, His is too far outside our own finite mind, and so far beyond our ability to comprehend.

But that did not stop Elihu…

“Wait for me a little, and I will show you
That there is yet more to be said in God’s behalf.
“I will fetch my knowledge from afar,
And I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
“For truly my words are not false;
One who is perfect in knowledge is with you,” (36:2).

There is debate about what Elihu was really inferring in regard to where he had derived his knowledge; but at any rate, there was much truth in what he shared.

“Behold, God is mighty but does not despise any;
He is mighty in strength of understanding,”
(36:5).

Then He declares to them their work
And their transgressions, that they have magnified themselves.
10 “He opens their ear to instruction,
And commands that they return from evil,
(36:9).

“Behold, God is exalted in His power;
Who is a teacher like Him?
23 “Who has appointed Him His way,
And who has said, ‘You have done wrong’?” (36:22-23).

But in all the truths that Elihu spoke, there was still misunderstanding; for his truth expected to see God’s justice perfectly manifested during the lifetime of both the wicked and the afflicted,

“He does not keep the wicked alive,
But gives justice to the afflicted,”
(36:6).

And with each passing day in this tragic, and often perplexing story of Job, one thing has become increasingly clear; we must consider Him apart from our own temporal interpretations, for He is Beyond Our Understanding

Consider Him Who Is Beyond Our Understanding

“Behold, God is exalted, and we do not know Him;
The number of His years is unsearchable,”
(36:26).

  • He is Beyond Our Understanding; He is Exalted
    • “Behold, God is exalted,”
  • Exalted: “(of a person or their rank or status) placed at a high or powerful level; held in high regard; noble or elevated; lofty; it refers to such greatness and magnificence as to put someone in an exalted or highly uplifted state, especially God.”
    • Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
      And His greatness is unsearchable,
      (Psalm 145:3).
    • The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins, (Acts 5:30-31).
  • He is Beyond Our Understanding; He is an Enigma
    • “and we do not know Him;”
  • Enigma: “a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand; something hard to understand or explain completely; something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained.”
    • “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
      “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways
      And My thoughts than your thoughts,”
      (Isaiah 55:8).
    • By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:
      He who was revealed in the flesh,
      Was vindicated in the Spirit,
      Seen by angels,
      Proclaimed among the nations,
      Believed on in the world,
      Taken up in glory,
      (1 Timothy 3:16).
  • He is Beyond Our Understanding; He is Eternal
    • “The number of His years is unsearchable,”
  • Eternal: “lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning; having infinite duration, existing through all time; outside or beyond time or time relationships; someone without a beginning or end; forever the same, always true or valid.”
    • Before the mountains were born
      Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
      Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God,
      (Psalm 90:2).
    • Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am,” (John 8:58).
    • When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades,” (Revelation 1:17-18).

How do we respond to Him Who Is Beyond Our Understanding?

While we know we are not guaranteed life free from affliction, if we are really gut-level honest with ourselves, we still expect it. We still somehow buy into the equation that living by love, obedience and faith in God equals happy life free from pain and injustice. But Scripture does not propound that as the case at all. In fact, quite the opposite.

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, (Philippians 1:29).

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (2 Timothy 3:12).

We must train ourselves to look, not at things as they are, but rather, by faith, to believe in what He has promised us that is to come.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

for we walk by faith, not by sight, (2 Corinthians 5:7).

And while we wait, although He is Beyond Our Understanding, we can do what we know to do.

  • Let us Exalt Him Who Beyond Our Understanding, for He is Exalted.
    • I exalt You, my God the King,
      and praise Your name forever and ever, (Psalm 145:1 HCSB).
  • Oh, that our lives would be a testimony to glorify Jesus Who is Exalted.
    • For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:9-11).
  • Let us acknowledge and accept the truth that He is Beyond Our Understanding, for He is an Enigma.
    • Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
      It is too high, I cannot attain to it,
      (Psalm 139:6).
  • Oh, that we would depend on the Holy Spirit to lead us into understanding of His will and ways.
    • But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ, (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
  • And let us trust and accept His perfect timing as we wait for Him Who is Beyond Our Understanding, for He is Eternal.
    • “The eternal God is a dwelling place,
      And underneath are the everlasting arms…
      (Deuteronomy 33:27).
  • Oh, that we would live with eternity in mind, to be His faithful witnesses as we depend on His Holy Spirit, that others may also hear of Him Who is Beyond Our Understanding.
    • He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth,” (Acts 1:7-8).

Let’s Grow Together!

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