(October 18, 2014)
Elihu is fast becoming one of my heroes in the scriptures – I know so little about him, but to have acquired his wisdom at his young age he must have been an impressive man. In these chapters, Elihu highlights something that I have recently discovered but illustrates a consequence of it that I hadn’t imagined.
After fasting recently, I went to the Lord in prayer and asked Him for a blessing I felt in need of, and in the course of my prayer told Him that I had fasted for Him and thus I had hopes that I would receive the blessing I sought (sort of a Divine quid pro quo). The Lord gently informed me of my error in thinking – it became obvious that my fasting really did nothing to benefit God, and was instead designed to benefit me.
Elihu builds on that and develops some of the consequences. There is no righteous act that we can perform that benefits God – anything that we do He could have accomplished at a word (and likely far better than we did it). Likewise, our sins do not negatively affect Him at all – if He was injured by our sins, He could simply remove us from this Earth again at a word.
The consequence of this, however, is something absolutely amazing. I always knew intellectually that the Lord needs nothing from me, but I felt it as I read and thought about Elihu’s words in these chapters. And if He needed nothing from us, then why His work and sacrifice on our behalf? Love, of course – only His love.
It struck me how far beyond me that God is. It also struck me how grateful I ought to be that God, with all of His power and majesty and His unlimited virtue cares enough for me to care for me (even though I am unable to help Him in any way) – I really begin to get a glimpse of Divine charity.
I feel like I am poorly expressing something that is very meaningful.