Job 32 … Consider His Almighty Breath

Originally posted: 9/07/2020

“But it is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding,”

A new critic lets his voice be heard. Apparently, Elihu has been silently listening in, keeping quiet in deference to his elders.

“I am young in years and you are old;
Therefore I was shy and afraid to tell you what I think.
“I thought age should speak,
And increased years should teach wisdom,”

But now he’s ready to burst and just can’t keep quiet, prefacing his input with a truth: age does not always equal wisdom.

“The abundant in years may not be wise,
Nor may elders understand justice.
10 “So I say, ‘Listen to me,
I too will tell what I think,’…
18 “For I am full of words;
The spirit within me constrains me.
19 “Behold, my belly is like unvented wine,
Like new wineskins it is about to burst.
(32:9-10, 18-19).

Elihu speaks up. And in contrast to the other three who had given Job more than a fair share of their minds, Elihu does not confront Job about his supposed sin. It is Job’s words, spoken out of a misunderstanding of the ways of God, that Elihu calls into question.

The NIV Study Bible offers an interesting note:
“[Elihu] does not stoop to false accusation about Job‘s earlier life but usually confines his criticism of Job to quotations from Job himself. This is perhaps the reason that God, in the epilogue, does not condemn Elihu along with Job’s three friends.”

And as he proceeds, Elihu attributes his thoughts to the understanding he has received in his spirit by the Breath of Almighty God.

“But it is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding,”

Consider His Almighty Breath

The words Elihu used, spirit and breath, have much in common.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
Spirit: “7307. רוּחַ rûaḥ: A feminine noun meaning spirit, wind, breath. The word is used to refer to the Spirit of God or the Lord…”
Breath: “5397. נְשָׁמָה nešāmāh:  A feminine noun meaning breath, wind, spirit. Its meaning is parallel to nep̱eš (5315. נֶפֶשׁ nep̱eš: A feminine noun meaning breath, the inner being with its thoughts and emotions) and rûaḥ (7307 spirit- Job 32:8). It refers to the breath of God…”

And it is to the spirit in man, to the capacity for thinking and emoting given by his Creator, that the Spirit of God Breathes to impart His Almighty Breath.

  • It is His Almighty Breath that gives us life.
    • Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being, (Genesis 2:7).
    • “The Spirit of God has made me,
      And the breath of the Almighty gives me life,”
      (Job 33:4).
  • It is His Almighty Breath that created the heavens.
    • By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
      And by the breath of His mouth all their host,
      (Psalm 33:6).
  • It is His Almighty Breath that will judge the wicked.
    • But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
      And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
      And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
      And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked,
      (Isaiah 11:4).
  • It is His Almighty Breath that causes us to fear and revere His Name.
    • From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along, (Isaiah 59:19 NIV).
  • It is His Almighty Breath that brings forth life out of death, that He would be known as Lord.
    • He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:5-6).
    • So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” 44 The man who had died came forth… (John 11:41-44).
  • It is His Almighty Breath that gives us His Holy Spirit.
    • So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” (John 20:21-22).
  • It is His Almighty Breath that teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains us in His Word.
    • All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV).

How do we respond to His Almighty Breath?

The truth is, every man, woman and child ever born has had an encounter with the Breath of the Almighty, for we are created in the womb and the recipients of what only He can give, His Breath of Life.

But how often we take His Almighty Breath for granted, or worse, buying into some accidental cosmic rise out of slime to explain the beautiful complexity of His creation.

But it is only as we respond in faith to His Almighty Breath that we are born again to receive His gift of eternal life.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God… Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”(John 3:3, 7-8).

And the truth is, as we consider His Almighty Breath, it should take our breath away; and it should move us.

  • May His Almighty Breath move us to profoundly worship Him with all that we are.
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).
  • May we be moved to seek Him in His Word, that we would encounter His Almighty Breath and be transformed as He renews our mind.
    • And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, (Romans 12:2).
  • And may we be moved to continually lose our breath as we consider all that He is and all that He has done for us. And may we use every bit of our breath to bring praise to Him, in gratitude for all that He has accomplished by His Almighty Breath.
    • Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
      Praise the Lord!
      (Psalm 150:6).

Let’s Grow Together!

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