At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor. The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them. He brings the clouds to punish people, or to water his earth and show his love. Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds are poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind, can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze? Job 37:1-18
Elihu continues his “instruction” of Job in this passage. I have to admit as insensitive as Elihu seems to be to Job’s position and predicament his descriptions of the nature of God are insightful. Elihu’s view of God is somewhat skewed toward the Mad Max side of God’s nature. I find comfort in this facet of God’s nature because I know God has my back, but I also find great comfort in the Lamb of God who sees us and carries us like a son or daughter.
This passage is one of the most explicit in the description of frozen water, or ice, that I can recall so far in my walk on water. Interestingly, water that is frozen is actually something one can walk upon, but is not always stable of safe. When ice accumulates into glaciers it can sculpt the land into some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth.
It seems like ice gets a negative wrap. It seems to always be cast in the role of evil — the evil snow miser; the White Witch that rules a frozen Narnia, The Snow Queen. Why is cold and ice associated with evil? Perhaps is it because ice by itself is not much use to us humans…it needs to be melted (in the liquid form) for us to be able to use it.
Perhaps this is like the spiritual realm and earth. What if material Things of this earth are “frozen” versions of things that exist in “liquid form” in the spiritual realm. Following this analogy, our bodies would be “spirit-cicles” — only when they melt, i.e. when our body dies, can our spirit join that of the Great Cistern, God.
Can our souls or spirits become frozen, fixed, and immovable within our earthly vessels? I think the answer is yes if we disconnect ourselves from “heat source”, God. Jesus described this glazing over of our souls as having a “hardened heart” or a “calloused heart”:
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ – Matthew 13:14-15
What is the opposite of a frozen heart? A burning heart, as A.W. Tozer put it, when he described Christ followers as “children of the burning heart”. We are to pursue God with such passion that our souls never become “frozen”.
Prayer: God I want to be a child of the burning heart. Help me to cultivate a spirit that is on fire rather than frozen.