"who is a teacher like him?"
In Job 36:13-16 we read –
13 The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14 They die in youth, and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.
16 He also allured you out of distress into a broad place where there was no cramping, and what was set on your table was full of fatness.
In Job 36:5-24, Elihu contrasts the response of the righteous with the unrighteous in their afflictions and suffering. Ad than calls Job, while in his suffering, to repent from his complaints against God, and to trust and wait on God to deliver him from his present affliction.
The wicked/unrighteous die prematurely by the sword, without wisdom and among the cult prostitutes. And that’s just because they didn’t cry to God and listen to the voice of God that speaks to us in our sufferings, verses 12-14.
On the other hand, the righteous afflicted call/cry to God, are convicted of their sins v.9, called to repentance v.10, and “if they listen and serve him” they will prosper and complete “their years in pleasantness”, v.11.
How often it is when we suffer, that God opens our deaf ear by the affliction we are going through, v.15. We hate it, want it to end it fast, but God knows what his people need, as every good father does. And so it is, that he allures us and leads us out of our distress to life, to feast our heart on how good our God is,and that when we subject ourselves to his loving correction, v.16 (Hebrews 12:9b).
Years ago, I was greatly blessed by the truth of verses 15, 16, and than I read a quote in C.S.Lewis’ book “The problem of pain”, where he captured verse 15 so well, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our consciences, but shouts to us in our pains; it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world”.
Since God so gracious as to turn us from our sin in the suffering he so wisely allows and orchestrates for our temporal and eternal good, let us not judge the wicked v.17, but have mercy and compassion on them, and offer the wisdom of the Gospel God has taught us in our suffering.
As the poet/hymn writer William Cowper in 1700s wrote, “God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform”.
So, let us “Remember to extol his work, of which men have sung”, v.24, and ponder his wisdom and providence in creation and our lives, to gain knowledge and wisdom to trust God always.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
“Who is a teacher like him?” (Job 36:22b).
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God's Surround Sound System...
I just want to comment on these few things. The fact how God knows what his people need, as every good father does or as the simple scripture you put goes:
“Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? “ (Heb 12:9 ESV) despite the fact that God leads us out of the distresses of our life and to feast upon the goodness of God, but to walk in faith, nothing wavering even in pain, suffering, irrespective of pleasures, goodness and answered prayer, the Lord still would whisper to us in our pain and suffering. Do you think that our lives as believers would be so much in trial, tribulation, problems, trouble and pain that these things would drown out the voice of the Lord that he would have to shout or as C.S. Lewis would say ‘it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world’ ? If this is true that the sheep know His voice, then why do you suppose that the Lord would allow us to live in pain and suffering to the point that God would need a megaphone to arouse us? The sheep know His voice…..but maybe you are right. Amongst this evil world, perhaps there is so much noise, he would probably have to set up a concert, complete with sound system and surround sound to get our attention…probably placing us next to the speaker ;)