When we left off this previously unmentioned kid named Elihu had just made his stand, about to throw a little knowledge on Job and his buddies. I’m picking up with Chapter 32 where Elihu makes his grand entrance. Here’s this (in my mind) teenager who’s been quietly listening as each of Job’s three friends take their turn at trying to console him and subsequently failing. Finally the last man has made his attempt and Elihu just can’t take it anymore.
He stands up and just generally shames them all with his, ‘I’m a kid so I’ve been respectful this whole time but you guys are doing a whole lotta nothing. You can’t even call it trying really. What’s wrong with you?!?’. In today’s world Elihu would’ve brought out a picture of the three old hats leaning over Job all concerned, then stamped it with a giant red FAIL.
After establishing the great depths of their fail, Elihu then turns to address Job in Chapter 33. He starts by laying out everything Job has said so far, just to make it clear he has been listening. If you remember, Job’s complaint this whole time has been how he’s so righteous yet God is still punishing him. Now, it’s hammer time.
Elihu doesn’t beat around bushes. He begins with, ‘Look, in this you are not righteous.’ Wah wah waaaah. He continues to say that God is greater than man and basically, how are you gonna try and call Him out? He doesn’t answer to you, Job. Who do you think you are?
Have you (readers) heard people talk about the still, small voice of God? And the concept of, if that doesn’t work it gets a little louder, and a little louder, until finally if you still don’t get it you run face first into that proverbial brick wall? I believe that would be our modern day ‘rock bottom’. Ok, so Elihu is trying to explain this concept to Job.
Job has all this pride about being righteous, thinking he’s infallible (beyond reproach) and God is trying to take him down off that pedestal he’s been standing on. Being prideful is not a good trait. So here we are and Job is at his rock bottom. His riches are gone, his possessions, his family….even his health, but Job is still holding strong to that pride like it’s his life. Elihu points all this out and then tells him, you’re going through all of this but God keeps you from the Pit.
Here it is…God is speaking to you, you need to make a change and He’s giving you this wonderful opportunity to do so. Yes, you are at rock bottom but He is keeping you from the Pit (Elihu’s word), keeping your life from the executioners. God wants so badly to deliver you back to full health, to restore all you have, but you have to learn what He’s teaching you.
In Chapter 34 Elihu talks about God and how merciful He is. How He has no wickedness, He does not favor rich over poor. Elihu talks about how God will handle the wicked , but also how He will handle the ones who repent.
At the end of Chapter 34 and Chapter 35 Elihu basically talks about how dumb Job is acting and how unrighteous his actions are because on top of them he adds rebellion. It’s a little more of the ‘who do you think you are’ but this time he’s mixing it up with explanations of why it’s wrong. God is higher than us, who are we to question Him. He also talks about how God will not listen to empty talk (which I assume means something along the lines of what Job is doing), how Job must wait on Him and his justice. He chastises Job by saying since God has not truly punished him, has not taken notice of his complaints, Job takes that for granted and ‘multiplies words without knowledge’. Basically Job, you are talking out of your rear.
Chapter 36 goes into God’s goodness. Elihu talks about how if someone finds themselves ‘bound in fetters or held in the cords of affliction’ (basically, if you feel like Job does) God is telling you of your work and transgressions, but He also opens your hear to instruction. It’s like a little test. If you pass, you spend your days in prosperity. If not, Elihu says they die without knowledge. He talks about how the people who do not repent store up wrath. He talks about how it may look like these unrighteous are living the lives of kings with no judgment, but they are filled with the judgment due the wicked. Their time’s a comin’. The rest of 36 and 37 are Elihu talking about the wondrous works of God.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind…that’s the first verse of Chapter 38. Now, I immediately picture a big funnel cloud with a face but I’m pretty sure God doesn’t work in cartoon form so I’ve adjusted it to picture strong winds and Job hears God speaking to him.
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.” That’s verses 2 and 3. If I were Job I’d be hiding under my covers about right now, trying out my best slither-like escape or doing a whole bunch of ‘You heard…What? Oh that?? Aw, I was just playin’!’.
Of course, none of that would’ve worked. So God’s asking the questions now, huh? Well, it’s a whole lotta ‘Who did this?…Oh, that’s right. It was Me!’ and ‘Did you make this over here?…Oh, I guess not because I DID!’ with a side dish of ‘Was it you who made this and that work together so perfectly? Another negatory!’
Chapter 40, God says, ‘Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.’ Ruh roh, Rorge. (You know Astro! From the Jetsons!)
Seems like Job suddenly finds all that knowledge he’s been lacking and he’s all, ‘I gots noffin’.’ At least he’s got sense enough to keep his mouth shut.
God continues asking since Job thinks he’s so big and bad, why don’t you fix this yourself? Go ahead and ‘disperse the rage of your wrath’ or, get yourself out of it. He talks about the largest land and the largest sea creatures – a behemoth and a Leviathan – asking Job basically if he can do anything with them. Nope, no you can’t Job.
The final chapter let’s Job do a whole lotta back stepping out of the hole he dug. He repents. And here’s where it gets really good. Verse 10 says the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. He gave Job twice as much as he had before! All the animals he had, his riches, and even his family returns. Verse 12 says the Lord blessed Job’s latter days more than his beginning. How awesome is that!
I hope I did justice on this last part of Job. I had a harder time breaking it down because I felt like there was so much, I didn’t want to oversimplify it. Anyway, I’ll probably do a wrap-up because I want to go back and find some main points and verses. Until then….