Continued from Job, Part 1 naturally.
When we left off last time, I’d made it to Chapter 20 where Job was going back and forth with his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar who had come by to comfort him. Weeellll, let’s just say Job wasn’t up for much comfort as he countered each of their arguments with some version of ‘I was righteous yet He is punishing me while all the evil people are living the good life’. And Job’s BFFs didn’t really have a comeback to that.
In my mind I picture these three men huddled around Job in his bed or maybe sitting in a recliner (Yes, I do realize La-Z-Boy had a year or two thousand yet to be discovered. Leave my imaginary Bible world alone. ha!) trying their best to comfort him with thoughts of a loving God. And then there’s Job…this once proud, prosperous, hard-working man with land, animals, and family surrounding him now reduced to a bed-ridden, pained, lonely pack of skin and bones. It’s been a long, hard fall for ol’ Job and ‘a loving God’ just ain’t within his grasp right now.
Continuing on past Chapter 20 when I hit Chapter 22 I think, ‘Uh oh. They’re gonna get him now! Here it comes!’ as Eliphaz (in my mind) gets frustrated and throws down with this whole ‘Who do you think you are?’ speech. He’s all like, ‘What, you think you’re so righteous, huh? I’ve seen myself when you turning away the weary without giving them water, or not giving bread to the hungry. I’ve seen you! Now stop being all holier-than-thou, spend time getting to know God who will give you peace, and stop whining.’ (all paraphrased, of course)
Job does back off a little bit and next takes a route of ‘Where is God? I can’t find Him. I’d love to ask Him what’s going on.’ He goes on to say, ‘I do fear Him. He can do whatever it is He wants to do. Of course I fear Him. Look at me, He didn’t protect me from evil.’
So it’s more back and forth but I just finished Chapter 32. At this point the three men give up because they can see how righteous Job thinks he is and they’re not going to get past that. But hold up a minute! Suddenly there’s another guy there. A younger one! I’m picturing someone in their late teens or early 20’s. It’s Elihu and he’s been quiet this whole time because he’s trying to respect his elders like a good kid does. When they give up though, Elihu jumps on up and says, ‘Oh wait just a second here. I’ve got a thing or two to say now! You old guys got your say and let’s be honest….you didn’t say much. It’s my turn.’
It’s about to get real, folks. I have a feeling this kid’s about to bring a little church up in here! Stay tuned!