I’m getting to like Elihu. He seems to be pointing Job and the other friends toward GOD with his words. He is breaking down the idea that we, as humans, think we are entitled to a good life … He raises the question, are we entitled to life at all?
4 The Spirit of God has made me;
the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4
14 If it were his intention
and he withdrew his spirit and breath,
15 all humanity would perish together
and mankind would return to the dust. Job 34:14-15
He points us to look at not only what gives us life, which is our breath, but also who gives us that breath.
When GOD created man in the beginning He formed the person but he had no life. I am reminded of the difference between GOD forming humankind to animals. We are unique to all other creatures. It was His breath that he intentionally breathed into man and that not only gave life but set mankind apart from all creation. The RUACH was the breath of life. Ruach: wind, breath, air, spirit.
GOD’s breath caused man to live. Elihu makes a point that if it was GOD’s intention He could withdraw His breath and we would become nothing but dust. We can look at that and think about the way science has changed medicine – it can make us think that the Bible is naive in its thinking. It is easy to think that we have some control over life, we hold the power in our medicine and technology. In fact, I am incredibly grateful for such medicines and technologies since members of my family literally rest on them for staying alive. Life is a gift that medicine seems to offer. It can’t mean that the breath of GOD, this Ruach can be replicated by science, can it?
This breath is life and means life to mankind. This Ruach of GOD gives life. I can look at the ‘wicked’ and wonder why they should have the gift of life, much like the discussions of Job’s friends when other ‘good’ people’s lives hang in the balance. But maybe there is more to this breath just giving us physical life. This Ruach must be different and set apart from the ordinary life. This breath isn’t just about physical life but real life.
Real life! What I mean when I use this description is that the earthly life that we live should not be all that we live for. If earthly life is our only aim, then there is nothing to it except to gain as much pleasure, wealth and security around us; we don’t need to care about anyone but ourselves and grab at all we can. Actually, we need to have an eternal perspective on our life. GOD breathes life into us for us to be transformed from being earthbound to heavenbound. His breath gives us real life; an eternal life in relationship with Him.
This breath, this Ruach, is supernatural. I have often thought why don’t people just see GOD everywhere, and why don’t they get it? But it is GOD that searches us out and reveals Himself to us. It is His mercy that opens our eyes and hearts up to Him. It is the mercy of GOD that gives the breath of life. This Ruach makes us come alive. It turns us from black and white to colour, turns us from death to life. GOD’s eyes are on the ways of mankind and He sees every step – wicked and righteous. He chooses not to withdraw but to draw us close. He chooses when and where to breathe. He chooses life for us. With His breath we can live life to the full.
I want His breath, this incredible Ruach to permeate all areas of my life. I don’t want any area to be lifeless. I want to pray this for you too.