Job 37: 9-13
9 Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
10 By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened.
11 Also by watering He wearieth the thick cloud: He scattereth his bright cloud:
12 And it is turned round about by His counsels: that they may do whatsoever He commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.
13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy.
Job said many things in his book, and some of them were wondrous, like when he said, “I know that my Redeemer liveth”. Also, when he said, “In my flesh I shall see God.” There is one thing that Job didn’t say, and that was “Lord, please deliver me”, or “Please save me from this trial.” The words save, and deliver are mentioned more than once in the book, but not in that context.
Elihu sits and listens to Job and his three friends for several chapters, and then he begins to speak. In Job 37:11, he says something very important. He states that the ‘bright cloud’, or storm, comes for three reasons.
The storm arrives either for correction, for His land, or for mercy. Some battles are for correction, and thank God, for rescuing us from a much greater and eternal storm of judgment. Others are for His land, some battles are for the growth of The Church. Calvary was very much a personal battle, in the sense of Christ suffering alone, but it was a corporate battle for the Salvation of man. It, and the last of three sparked this article, the storm of mercy.
To you and I, a storm isn’t about the rain, it’s about the thunder, lightning, and the lighting. As kids, we played in rain showers, but most of us hid in storms. The difference was the conditions surrounding the rain. These were the darkness, the lightning that repelled it, and the thunder that broke the silence.
[pullquote][tweetthis]A Heavenly action touches Earth to cause a natural reaction.[/tweetthis][/pullquote]
We know that the thunder represents God’s voice, and that the lightning represents His movement, or the movement of His instruments. The two work hand in hand in the Heavens to produce something in the Earth. A Heavenly action touches Earth to cause a natural reaction.
A good friend of mine, Lucian Linkous, explained to me recently that lightning produces nitrogen. This acts as a fertilizer to cause things to grow. Scientists say that the sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces a sonic expansion. This expansion, much like a sonic boom, causes thunder. Pressure and intensity therefore produce a sound, a cry if you will.
When we are going through our trial, and we cry out to God, He will answer us. The problem is that often, we mistake the answer as just the noise of the storm. The lightning isn’t meant to scare us, but to cause growth in both the Christian, and the Church. At times, trials are long, and they are so dark, but then God moves, not to end the trial, but to give us relief from the darkness.
What we think is the noise of the battle, often is God responding to our cry. They say that in history, when the Apostle Peter was forced to watch his wife dying on a cross before his death, he did something. He yelled out, “Remember Christ.” He was saying, “In the midst of your pain, remember His Sacrifice. He is with us in the agony that we face.” God is neither silent to our pain, or ignoring of our sorrows.
The trouble is, as humans, we are more in tune with the darkness than with the thunder. As a child, darkness scared me less than thunder and lightning. I would hide my face from the lightning, but I couldn’t ignore the thunder. As a man, I can now say, rejoice in the thunder and rebuke the darkness.
Light is God’s plan for His Church, not darkness. From the beginning, we were made to hear His voice, and not the silence of being without Him. That all changed after the fall, yet God returned things to normal at Calvary. Was there darkness at Calvary? Yes, six hours of it, but the same God who created the worlds raged against it. He did this all while nailed to a cross. He thundered “It is finished.”
His lightning, or His actions, not only saved the world, but rescued a thief. A man who’s business had been darkness, that’s when a thief works. He existing by becoming one with the darkness. The lightning was not his friend, it hampered his movements. The thunder no doubt unnerved his stillness. Now, it was dark again, but this time, it couldn’t help him, it was time to try the opposite.
In Luke 23:39, he turns to The One that had, in Luke 23:34, just five verse before said this, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” I’ve often wondered what changed the thief, because the other Gospels explain that he began mocking like the other thief. I think it was this verse that changed him.
[pullquote][tweetthis]If you had told that thief, at any time in the past, that the greatest day of his life would be this day, he would have laughed.[/tweetthis][/pullquote]
In the same verse that Jesus said this, it records the soldiers parting His raiment. Christ forgave, essentially the equivalent of a personal mugging, in the throes of death. What if, this act of forgiveness, was what gave the thief hope that The True God Of Thunder could forgive him?
If you had told that thief, at any time in the past, that the greatest day of his life would be this day, he would have laughed. Now, I can say confidently, he would not have traded this day for all the others. The pain of a wooden cross was nothing compared to the redemption that he experienced.
Job’s storm wasn’t for correction, it was for the other two reasons. It was for both God’s land, (His Church), and for mercy. It was an example to all who follow after, that the purpose of a storm isn’t to destroy, but to produce. A storm isn’t only about the rain, like the nitrogen, it’s about what can only be produced in a storm.
We purposely skipped over verse 9, “Out of the south cometh the whirlwind:” As I said, the storm isn’t about the rain, it’s about what is produced in it. For several chapters, Job asked to speak with God. He failed to ask for rescue, he wanted to know why. Like us, Job asked an inferior question. God never answered the inferior one, Job never learned in his book why.
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Instead God responded to the better question, He talked with Job. In the heat of our battle, much like the song, “He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me that I am His own.”, it isn’t about the current need, it’s about the reassurance of our place with Him.
[pullquote][tweetthis] One word from His lips will reveal it’s not a tempest to destroy us, but a storm of mercy to help us grow.[/tweetthis][/pullquote]
The most important thing is who we are talking too. Friends can bring comfort, or they can bring pain. We can receive council that will shed light on our situation. In the end though, only two conversations mattered. They were the one that the Man Of God had with Job, and the one that God had with Job.
Every service, the Man Of God shares God’s Message with us. It is our responsibility, and our joy, to follow that up with a daily conversation with Jesus. Whether in peace, or a raging a storm, a conversation with The Master will transform our battle. One word from His lips will reveal it’s not a tempest to destroy us, but a storm of mercy to help us grow.