God Is Better (Job 37:19–24) - Radical

God Is Better (Job 37:19–24)

Teach us what we shall say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of darkness. Shall it be told him that I would speak? Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up? And now no one looks on the light when it is bright in the skieswhen the wind has passed and cleared themOut of the north comes golden splendorGod is clothed with awesome majestyThe Almightywe cannot find himhe is great in powerjustice and abundant righteousness he will not violateTherefore men fear himhe does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.
– Job 37:19–24

These are the last words of Elihu as we prepare to hear from God and Job, chapter 38 in the next chapter. But in these closing words from Elihu, he basically refuses to confront God as if he knows better than God what God is doing. Instead, these verses illustrate a picture of God so brilliant, splendid, awesome, and exalted that the only response before him is fear, reverent awe, and trust in him and his wisdom and not our own.

Job 37:19–24 Teaches Us That Our Reward Transcends Suffering

We’ve prayed even specifically through a Elihu’s words and Job 32 through 37 about different purposes that God has in our suffering, how God uses suffering sometimes to refine our faith, teach us to rely on him. We were praying in the previous episode about how God uses suffering to teach us to hate sin, to repent of any and all sin in our lives, even if we’re suffering, not because some specific sin in our lives to still hate sin all the more and run to righteousness. Here in Job 37:19–24, though, I think we see the ultimate purpose of God in suffering, how God uses suffering to lead us, to see him, how God uses suffering in this world to lead us to see the reward we have in God that transcends anything and everything, even the best things this world has to offer.

Job 37:19–24 Reminds Us That God Is Worthy

Basically, in these words in Job 37:19–24, Elihu is saying very clearly that in the end, God will show himself worthy for all who trust in him. God will show himself good and awesome and majestic and great in power and just and abundant in righteousness and wise, like all these attributes of God are here.

And so I want to urge you, especially if you’re walking through difficult days right now, to seek God as your reward, to trust God as your reward, as the one who is worthy of your trust and worthy of your worship, worthy of the kind of faith we’ve seen in Job, at so many points, and especially in Job one and two. He’s worthy of worship, even when things are falling apart. He’s good. And he’s great. He’s just, he’s righteous. He’s wise. He loves you. He’s working for your good, and there is reward that’s found in him. And even when everything in this world is gone from us, we will realize he is worthy. “To live as Christ, to die is gain,” Paul says. “Even when I don’t have breath anymore, I’ll have Jesus and he will be worth it.”

Praying for this Perspective

So God, we pray for this perspective in each of our lives, to see you as better than all the best things of this world put together. To see you as better than health and  better than wealth. Better than comfort, better than things, better than even the people who we love most, you are infinitely better.

God, give us this perspective, help us to see the reward that’s found in you alone. That even when all the best things of this world are gone from us. When we lose our last breath. We will have you, and in you. We will have gain internal reward, enjoying you and your awesome majesty. Your golden splendor and your great power and your justice and your righteousness. God, teach us in our suffering, we pray, to fear and revere and trust and worship you. God, we pray for this in light of Job 37, in Jesus name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.


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