But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night? — Job 35:10
In one of Charles Spurgeon’s most well-known sermons, preached in the late 1800s, he used Elihu’s words in today’s focus verse as his text. In Spurgeon’s opening statement, he commented, “The great cause of distress, the reason for the depths of sorrow into which many are plunged, is simply this — while they are looking around, on the right hand and on the left, to see how they may escape their troubles — they forget to look to the hills where all real help comes from. They don’t say, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night?’” Elihu, like the other friends of Job who had offered the suffering man counsel, was not accurate in all his statements. However, his observation that it is God “who giveth songs in the night” showed great insight.
God is the source of our song in the night. Any of us can sing when the sun shines brightly, life is good, we are enjoying good health, and the bills are paid. However, where is the song when clouds arise, life brings burdens, afflictions come, and financial struggles loom? It is not natural to sing in times of trouble. However, as Christians we can say, “My God gives me songs in the night!”
God is the inspiration for our song in the night. We no doubt will experience many kinds of “nights” in our lifetimes — nights of sorrow, persecution, doubt, anxiety, affliction, oppression — nights which press heavily upon our spirits. Even if there is no comfort anywhere else, we can be assured on the basis of God’s Word that He is aware of what we are facing, and He cares. That fact alone gives us reason to sing.
God is the subject of our song in the night. Whatever trials we face at the moment, we have an amazing promise for the future. Spurgeon put it this way: “My expectation is that the sweet sunshine of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, that the oppressed will be set free, that tyranny will be destroyed, that liberty will be established, that lasting peace will arrive, and that the glorious liberty of the Gospel of God will be extended throughout the known world. Christian! If you are in a dark night, think of tomorrow; cheer your heart with the thought of the coming of your Lord.”
The songs we sing in the night may sound the most beautiful in the ears of our Lord, for they are expressions of our faith in Him, despite the troubling circumstances we face. To express confidence in Christ when we feel He is shrouded in darkness is evidence of true faith. So, when we face the night of trials, let us remember to look to the One who is the source, the inspiration, and the subject of our song. He’ll be there!
This portion of text is a continuation of Elihu’s address to Job. Some commentators refer to these segments as his third and fourth speeches, suggesting that the words “Elihu said . . .” mark divisions or pauses in the dissertation.
In his third argument (chapter 35) Elihu contested Job’s complaint that God had been unjust to him (Job 34:5-6). He asserted that God is concerned about man, and if He does not answer, it is because of the pride of man, or because the prayer was presumptuous. Elihu concluded this section by accusing Job of being like proud and vain men, and stated that Job’s words were useless.
In chapter 36, Elihu began his fourth argument by requesting the listeners’ attention again, and then developed the thought that God is mighty and just, and does not show favor to the wicked nor forget the poor. His stated that if people respond to God’s instructions as they should, all will go well for them, but if they are disobedient, they will suffer the consequences. In verses 15-25, Elihu applied these principles to Job, trying to convince him that God wanted to teach him through his suffering. He concluded that Job had presumed to instruct God rather than to learn from Him.
In chapter 37, Elihu declared the greatness of God as revealed in nature, using rain, wind, thunder, and lightning as examples. He concluded this argument by challenging Job to take notice of his own lack of knowledge and strength when compared to God, and exhorted him to bow before God in humble submission.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III. The solution of Elihu
D. Elihu’s third speech (35:1-16)
1. Declaration of God’s sovereignty (35:1-8)
2. Explanation of God’s silence (35:9-16)
E. Elihu’s fourth speech (36:1 — 37:24)
1. God’s ways with men (36:1-23)
a. The purpose of afflictions (36:1-16)
b. The application for Job (36:17-23)
2. God’s ways in nature (36:24 — 37:24)
a. The power of God over nature (36:24 — 37:13)
b. The appeal to Job (37:14-24)
The One who gives us songs in the night is always there!