Where is God my maker – Job 35:9-16

African American man in sweatshirt covering face with hands

10 But none saith, Where [is] God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;

This is something the son’s of God would say, especially at the end of the day. They seek God because they love to know he is with them and near them. The fear of God, which is something that springs out of their faith, gives a song in the night.

11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?

They cry after God because they want to know more about him. The beasts of the field are occupied with earthly things. The birds can know much more, for they can take a wider view. Men cry after God so they can see more than this again.

12 There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.

They only look for him when they are in trouble, and therefore he ignores them. They do not respond to him out of love, but because they want him to solve a problem that is too big for them. Do you think God should respond to them simply because they are the victim?

13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.

What purpose would it serve? So he grasps the innocent from the grip of the oppressor, and they dust themselves down and continue in ignorance. It is vanity.

14 Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, [yet] judgment [is] before him; therefore trust thou in him.

Job used to say this to someone in pain. “God is there and he will judge your issue justly.” To all who were suffering Job confirmed justice must prevail.

15 But now, because [it is] not [so], he hath visited in his anger, yet he knoweth [it] not in great extremity:

Because justice is not done according to your opinion, you assume God has visited you in his anger. This is the conclusion Job came to. He said, God should hide me till his anger is gone. In chapter 14:13 “O that you would hide me in the grave, that you would keep me secret, until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!” Elihu says it is wrong for Job to jump to the conclusion that his suffering was because God was enraged for some unknown reason. Elihu knows it was the extremity of Job’s complaint that brought him to this conclusion, but it is necessary to clear it up, because it is wrong. Job is too close to the problem of his own suffering to think this thing through.

We can accept Elihu’s conclusion, because we have read chapters 1 and 2. God was not angry with Job. It is like concluding God is unjust because he does not hear the cry of everyone that suffers. There are many reasons he does not deliver, and he is the only one who knows.

16 Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.

Job has misinterpreted God’s role in his suffering, and his arguments do not square with the facts.

Job said; my righteousness is more than God’s – Job 35:1-9

Volcanos and all things related

GOD EXALTS BY HIS POWER, WHO TEACHES LIKE HIM?

Chapter 35

Elihu was confident he had successfully turned the jury around to see things from the perspective of God, and that he removed the dust from the air which made the issues difficult to see. He now feels he can force home some matters that need to be addressed.

1 Elihu spake moreover, and said,

And to do this he directs his words to Job. He has turned away from the gallery, and the circumstance has eased a little. Job took it on the chin. He could feel he was getting closer to an answer.

2 Thinkest thou this to be right, [that] thou saidst, My righteousness [is] more than God’s?

Revisit some of the things you said in your extremity. Do you think such a claim is valid?

3 For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee?[and], What profit shall I have, [if I be cleansed] from my sin?

Even the most generous reading of the following verses will convince all that this charge is correct. In chapter 9:30 “If I wash myself with snow water and make my hands never so clean, yet will you plunge me in the ditch.” In chapter 10:3 “Is it good to you that you should oppress, that you should despise the work of your hands, and shine on the counsel of the wicked.” You need to see the atmosphere has changed. Job is subdued. He is not distressed, he is not defensive. He wants to hear from one who can clear this matter up for him.

4 I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.

Elihu knew he succeeded in quieting things down, and he had no plan to say anything that would stir up resentment. It is something for all of them to note, because all of them got it wrong.

5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds [which] are higher than thou.

It is necessary to keep the correct perspective. The clouds are not high, as we know, but they are higher than man, and God is higher again, much higher. This alone suggests a space exists over which we cannot pass.

6 If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or [if] thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?

It is a bold statement, because there are those who think they are dealing with an angry God who cannot tolerate evil in any form, and must express his discontent. God is not responsible for your sins. Your sins will affect you but they do not harm God in any way. They harm you, and they challenge truth, but God is higher than all of it.

7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?

Men think they confer some benefit on God by obedience, that he is receiving something for which he should be grateful. Well then, says Elihu, kindly describe what it is that you have done for him, and the reasons he should be pleased.

8 Thy wickedness [may hurt] a man as thou [art]; and thy righteousness [may profit] the son of man.

Wickedness may hurt the man who has a good reputation, because people will see the wickedness and will despise him for it. In the same way, one who has no reputation may create a good impression if he behaves himself. But it does not affect God, and he does not receive a benefit either way. You cannot trade with God based on mutual accommodation. The theory would have it that this trading is the basis of agreement, so if you do well you can expect a suitable blessing.

9 By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make [the oppressed] to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.

People only cry to God when they are in pain. Job said in chapter 24:12 “men groan out of the city, and the soul of the wounded cry out; yet God pays no attention to their prayers.” Why does he ignore them? Is God negligent? Why is he so indifferent? Elihu claims, the only time they seek him is when they want something. They want help to solve something they cannot solve themselves. Is God standing by for requests to filter through from the oppressed, so he can fix it for them?

When he gives quietness – Job 34:29-37

Gardener watering garden

29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth [his] face, who then can behold him? whether [it be done] against a nation, or against a man only:

When God gives a man peace and quiet, who of the mortal community are going to say, that is not right. When God turns away from an individual and he is given anything but quietness, can anyone say, God, this is not right, whether it is an individual or a whole nation. Who can make trouble, because God gives quietness and God gives suffering; No one at all. Be reasonable in your judgment he tells the jury, and judge according to truth.

30 That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.

What we must do is hope God puts nice people in charge.

31 Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne [chastisement], I will not offend [any more]:

This should be the attitude of man towards God. Not an insolent demand for facts in the matter.

32 [That which] I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

This would be better than an emotional rant against God’s inequality.

33 [Should it be] according to thy mind? he will recompense it,

whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.

It is up to you. You decide, you will not be able to influence anything one-way or the other, because it is God, not me you are dealing with here. But say it as you see it.

34 Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.

Tell us what our attitude should be. The Revised Version infers in verse 35, they, (that is men of understanding) far from saying they were appalled by the injustice of God came to the conclusion:

35 Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words [were] without wisdom.

So they decided with Elihu, and brought down their judgment against Job. But it is a mild rebuke. However in the spirit of the court case they were conducting here, Elihu implied that Job was to feel the rebuke of the court of his peers. And Elihu was to issue this on God’s behalf.

36 My desire [is that] Job may be tried unto the end because of [his] answers for wicked men.

God does not defend them, nor protect them, nor encourage them. The wicked are the wicked, and they are condemned of God. And suffering is not punishment for sin. If it were, Job would have a case, but it is not, and the wicked do live an untroubled life, get old and die, in an untroubled way.

37 For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth [his hands] among us, and multiplieth his words against God.

But getting back to Job, Elihu argues that just men would decide that Job has wrongfully accused God, and he had no right to speak against God as he did.

For his eyes are on the ways of man – Job 34:20-28

15858943883_f98c61349d_o

20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

God does not discriminate, whether they are rich or whether they are poor. And what is more to the point, God does not have to give account.

21 For his eyes [are] upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.

God’s view is much broader than man’s view. It is impossible for man to see and know what God sees and knows, and are you going to ask him to account, so you can decide if he has done the right thing or not.

22 [There is] no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

He knows all the things the wicked people do. It does not pass him by as if unnoticed.

23 For he will not lay upon man more [than right]; that he should enter into judgment with God.

But he does not measure their offenses as he does those that he cares about.

24 He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.

Or as the Revised Version has it more correctly “he shall break in pieces mighty men without inquisition,” or without a trial. He will break them in pieces and who can question the right of God to do this. He sees the end from the beginning. His eyes are always on man. He is not going to account for everything he does in the way of judgment to men, who cannot see beyond the end of their nose.

He will break mighty men in pieces without a trial. And he will set others in their stead. Now what man is going to say to God, you should conduct an open inquiry into your judgment in this matter? The terms of reference for the investigation are this or that. You should give account of your treatment of these men, and tell everyone why you treated them in this way. No. Man cannot expect God, the one who holds all life in his hand to report to them. It would not work. It would be impossible for God to give an account of all the matters of judgment he holds to him. Is it reasonable, that Job call God indiscriminate, because he does not give him details in his case?

25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth [them] in the night, so that they are destroyed.

You get to hear about it the next day when it is done.

26 He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;

People can draw whatever conclusion they want. Yes it is the judgment of God.

27 Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:

The charge is as detailed as that.

28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.

Someone he cares about complained. That is all you get to hear.

For the works of a man will God render to him – Job 34:12-19

Space background

12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.

Consider this.

13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?

Is there any man that can claim he has made God the king of the world? Or handed over the reins of the government of the world to him? There is none.

14 If he set his heart upon man, [if] he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;

Who will challenge the right of God to destroy every living thing? No one has given God charge over the earth. It belongs to God. God created it. And what is more, God keeps all living things alive. Who can question God, if he were to take away his spirit and his breath from all flesh so they all drop dead? Can any say that God has not the right to take away the life of any living creature without giving account? No one can say that. If God were to take to him his spirit, and his breath, then all flesh would perish together, and none of them would have any basis for complaint.

If you cannot complain about that, then how much less can you complain if he brings suffering? What right do you have to confront him with your challenge as Job has done? No right at all.

15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Some may have difficulty with that view. But just think about it. God created man, and God keeps him alive. If he takes away the spirit that enables man and all living creatures to live, on what basis would you complain? You would not be here to complain for a start. But supposing you could comment on it, what would you say? You cannot do that. Or that is not fair. Or that has never happened before, and you need our agreement to do it now. Give it back, I need it.

16 If now [thou hast] understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.

He knows there will be some who will not be able to get their mind around that, so he leaves them behind. He is speaking now to those who can stay with the argument.

17 Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?

Man, is the one who hates right. Should man’s opinion prevail, just an earthly individual assume the right of ruling the world, and let his opinion apply? He was cynical of course. Will you stand there and say, God you have not the right to take away my life?

18 [Is it fit] to say to a king, [Thou art] wicked? [and] to princes, [Ye are] ungodly?

Can you imagine yourself standing in front of a king and telling him he has lost the right to rule the kingdom, because he has done something wrong. He will simply say to his guards, “Off with his head,” and that will be the end of you.

19 [How much less to him] that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all [are] the work of his hands.

So God is not going to listen to you, nor is he going to account to you, as if you have some right. Just to put all things into perspective. You may ask God, but you cannot demand of God, and Job seems to me to insist God account to him in a very inappropriate way.

Hear my words Oh you wise men – Job 34:1-11

Groupe d'étudiants révisant ensemble 04

Chapter 34

1 Furthermore Elihu answered and said,

2 Hear my words, O ye wise [men]; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.

He addresses the gallery. You can take it as a boast if you want, but it is an invitation to evaluate the argument, and come up with a counter if warranted. You put yourself out there and you are going to be targeted. You better not say something wrong or this group will pick you up. This is a group of men and women who have listened to everything, and they are now asked to draw a conclusion.

3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.

He fully expects them to be critical. They will be hanging on every word to trip him if he makes a mistake. He trusts them to listen and decide.

4 Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what [is] good.

We must sort it out. It is not something that can remain unresolved. An answer must be found. Job has made a charge against God, and Elihu believes it needs to be answered.

5 For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.

He said this in chapter 27:2 “As God lives, who has taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who has vexed my soul;” It was not a false accusation. They all heard him say it. If it were not true they were obliged to object. They did not object. In chapter 19:9 “He has stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.” Elihu did not remind them, the way I am reminding you. These men and women heard him say it.

6 Should I lie against my right? my wound [is] incurable without transgression.

In chapter 12:4 “The just upright man is laughed to scorn.” In chapter 16:17 “Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure.”

We showed it is what Job said. Should I just keep quiet and let what is rightfully mine be taken away is the gist of his complaint? What Elihu is trying to do is set up a court. Job said if just men, were to know the facts, they would say this is incomprehensible, an innocent man is treated unjustly by God, it is appalling that an innocent man should suffer in this way. That is the conclusion that would be drawn, if the facts were placed before twelve good men. Elihu took up that challenge and said; let us then, as he sweeps his arm around the gallery, be the judge.

Elihu is acting as the prosecutor in this court of law. It is essential that Elihu be the one who challenges Job. Many have interpreted this as too cruel and unkind to Job. But it was necessary to present his case, as if he was a legal counselor prosecuting Job, so the gallery, or jury and we ourselves, can judge the issues according to truth.

7 What man [is] like Job, [who] drinketh up scorning like water?

Job is not only wrong. He is disrespectful of God, even to the point of keeping company with ungodly people. People will object to these words because God in chapter one calls Job a righteous man. He was a just and true man but he had not experienced torment like this, and when he does he makes claims that are not just and true. He spoke in defense of ungodly people.

8 Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.

It is not right to walk with wicked men. If you support their view, you walk with them. So the charge is apt.

9 For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.

This is what a wicked person would say. What is in it for me? What benefit do I get for all my trouble? Why bother to serve God, when God treats you like that? The adversary claimed Job would react badly, and we claimed he did not. God claimed, he did not do what the adversary said he would do. However Elihu claims, he over stepped the mark.

In chapter 9:23-24 he did say “if the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.” Or again “the earth is given into the hands of the wicked: He covers the faces of the judges.” In chapter 21:14-15 “Therefore they say to God, depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of your ways what profit shall we have, if we pray to him.” In verse 33 “The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him, and every man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.” Elihu is going to take issue on these matters. Job made all these claims against God and in doing so joined hands with the wicked and used arguments they would use.

10 Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, [that he should do] wickedness; and [from] the Almighty, [that he should commit] iniquity.

Job implied that God has turned a blind eye to gross misconduct, as if he does not care. That implication is malicious and defaming, and Elihu will defend God against this claim. The challengers of Elihu claim he is too robust in his arguments and he needs to tone it down.

11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to [his] ways.

Job said that God is indiscriminate in his treatment of man. Elihu said that injustice and wickedness is far from God and he treats men according to what they do. For Job to charge God with being indiscriminate, because he fails to punish the wicked, or because he allows the righteous to suffer is wrong. God will always deal with a man, according to his work.

If there be a messenger – Job 33:23-33

homme qui rêve de fonder une famille

23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness:

If there is someone who can explain to him, a special messenger or interpreter, one among a thousand, a truly outstanding one, who will explain to a man what righteousness involves. One who will show him uprightness, so he wants it and seeks for it.

24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

What an amazing statement, given what we know of the son of God’s role, as a messenger sent from God. He was the express image of his father, one among a thousand, who revealed God and his righteousness to man. This man, being one of our Race, who experienced our difficulties, and shared our thoughts and feelings.

25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:

Things will turn around. There will be no need of further chastening. He is changed. This man will appreciate he has been delivered, and knows he does not deserve such a blessing.

26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him:

and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.

In the scripture you will not read a more weighty statement on the atonement than appears here. You must read carefully the expressions that are used, because Elihu is presenting us with the truth of the atonement, the way in which humankind is reconciled to God. God has dealings with men, for calling them to the truth. His purpose is to turn them away from their disobedience. He speaks to them, whether in dream or in a vision, or by chastening. The object is the man listens to one who should speaks, and interprets the matter of righteousness and uprightness, so God might be gracious to him, and extend favor and mercy. He will then pray to God in thanksgiving, and God will be favorable to him, and he will see God’s face with joy, “for God will render unto man his righteousness.” God accounts that man to be righteous.

God will account that man righteous even though he commits sin, based on his faith and his prayer for forgiveness. He wants God to extend mercy to him. He knows that unless God does that, he has no hope. Now that is what is involved in reunion.

27 He looketh upon men, and [if any] say, I have sinned, and perverted [that which was] right, and it profited me not;

Confession is part of it. A man must sincerely turn back from the direction in which he was going and reform. Change is part of it, because he wants to be like God. If there is no acknowledgment, then mercy does not come. The acknowledgment is an expression of his faith and need of deliverance.

28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

The deliverance is from death. That is what going into the pit means, his life will end. A person is raised to life again. He awakes from the dead and rejoins the living.

29 Lo, all these [things] worketh God oftentimes with man,

It is a constant process, generation after generation. This is what God does, and man should be grateful. There is no other hope available to him.

30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

If you imagined it was different than that, or God has since changed his mind, you need to show beyond doubt how this was done and why. If you cannot do that, then you are obliged to accept it remains as described here.

31 Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.

I have more to say, and I invite you to keep silent for a little longer, while I make my case. There are other matters. We have not finished. We have just started. There are many things you need to think about.

32 If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.

If I have offended against anything, and said something that does not fit, now is the time to object. We will sort it out now, before we precede. If not, then I will continue. If an offer like this is made in an argument and not taken up, then we are expected to accept there is no objection.

33 If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.

There was something in what Elihu said that prevented Job from speaking. He did not look at his suffering as a means by which God would direct him. He did not realize God would provide one who would teach him what he did not understand. Elihu pointed out to Job that God does not employ suffering for punishment. God employs suffering simply to chasten, as a father chastens a child. The purpose is so the man will turn and say, “I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not.” God will deliver and forgive him. God will extend favor and mercy to him, and God will render unto man his righteousness, or God will account that man to be righteous, even though he is not.

It is not according to exact retribution at all, there is mercy and forgiveness involved in this method of harmony with God. It is built on love, not abject terror. Suffering may seem fitting to a man, because this is the way he thinks, but it is not the way of God.

Job said those things. Elihu was defending God. Job did not protest.

God speaks once yea twice – Job 33:14-22

6664088073_9555939e33_b

Chapter 33

14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, [yet man] perceiveth it not.

That is how the Revised Standard Version gives those words; “yet men perceive it not.” They do not heed, not that they cannot perceive, they just do not listen. God does speak. He speaks once and he speaks twice, and it is an expression that means, it is not God’s fault that men do not know.

How does he speak? He speaks;

15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;

16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,

God plants his instruction in the minds of men while they sleep, and he seals up their minds so what he says is not forgotten. The figure is graphic. He opens their minds to get the message in, and he seals it up to prevent it falling out. This is all before the written record. God speaks to us today through his word, so we should not expect it to come to us in the way spoken of here. The writers of the scripture were moved along by the power of God, and we have in our hands the whole message of God to men. It came by dreams and visions in those days.

We would not make the same complaint as Job, because we have sixty six books of instruction from God. But even so, we know what Job means when he claims God has not told us enough. He could explain it in simpler terms. It ought to be so clear we should not have to struggle to know it.

17 That he may withdraw man [from his] purpose, and hide pride from man.

The greatest danger to a mighty man, a man of character, and a man of strength is he will be filled with pride. And if the dreams and visions do not work, then God chastens him. There are various reasons for God’s intervention and it has to do with correction. We know pride is a major issue. The arrogance of an individual who refuses to listen because he is so full of himself, and listening just does not suit him. There are things we must stop doing.

18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.

Both of these involve being cut-off while young. This is a great tragedy. We have already discussed, that if you want the protection of God, then you need to walk in the ways of God. He does not guarantee you will avoid all calamity as the theory claims, but he will deliver if the circumstances warrant.

19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong [pain]:

20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.

But Elihu has made yet another point that obviously affected the thinking of Job. Elihu showed suffering is not for punishment for sins committed. Suffering is the chastening hand of God, designed to improve the individual. The chastening causes man to see his weakness. He gets back to basics, and can see through his plastic existence.

21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones [that] were not seen stick out.

This chastening can have graphic results. It is obvious to the man, and to those who see him, that something is wrong. He faces the end of life, and rethinks the things he took for granted.

22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.

This is a point we all reach. At some stage we must face our mortality and resolve where we stand. Some reach this point sooner and some later, but it is a good place to be, and you need to think it through.

You have spoken in my hearing – Job 33:8-13

tribunal de Nîmes, France

8 Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of [thy] words, [saying],

9 I am clean without transgression, I [am] innocent; neither [is there] iniquity in me.

As a prosecutor would prepare his case, Elihu outlines the issues. Job’s statements appear in the following passages: Chapter 6:29 “Yea return again my righteousness is in it.” Chapter 6:5 “Does the wild ass bray when he has grass, or lows the ox over his fodder.” We have already made the point, the thing that distinguishes Job is his honesty. The question here is; are we willing to be honest and accept the things Elihu complains about are true? Or are we going to join those who ignore the facts?

10 Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy,

In chapter 6:12-14 “Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass.” In chapter 13:24 “Why hide your face, and hold me for your enemy?” In chapter 23:2 “My stroke is heavier than my groaning.” In chapter 30:21 “Thou art become cruel to me: with your strong hand you oppose yourself against me.” These quotations amount to evidence that cannot be ignored. The gallery did not accuse Elihu of misrepresenting Job’s argument, and neither does God.

11 He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths.

In chapter 14:16-17 “For now you number my steps: do you not watch over my sin. My offense is sealed up in a bag, and you sew up mine iniquity.” In chapter 7:11. “I will speak in the anguish of my spirit: I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” You are invited to enter into the debate if you think Elihu has been unkind to Job and lied about his words. I will rewrite this book, and we will all change our position. Or throw away your hostile opinion of Elihu, one or the other.

12 Behold, [in] this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.

As a mere mortal man, which is what the word “enosh” for man means, it is all too common to treat God as one who should account. If God were no greater than a mere man, then it would be reasonable for man to demand an answer and expect a reply. If an answer comes, then it is by the graciousness of God, not by any compulsion.

13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

In chapter 19:7-8 “Behold I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud but there is no judgment.” That criticism is invalid says Elihu, because God does answer.

Wherefore Job hear my speeches – Job 33:1-7

10394199225_ea88b4ee8e_k

Chapter 33

Having dealt with the three friends, Elihu now turns his attention to Job.

1 Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words.

I want you to hear what I have to say. You are allowed all the opportunities the debate offers. If I say something you object to you have right of reply.

2 Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth.

The debate has been one of words. These words have been both true and false. What Elihu was preparing were more words. Why should they listen further? Elihu had to first convince them of his credentials to speak. What is the most important thing to focus on here?

3 My words [shall be of] the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.

Here we have from Elihu a promise to resolve the matter. It would be viewed with some reserve by all, and had he not added it to his claim, they may well have refused to listen. Some would say it was a boast, but I believe Elihu was simply preparing those who were listening.

4 The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

What I have to say comes from God. “I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.” And again “For truly my words will not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.” Elihu is either what he claims to be, or he is the greatest mischief ever to have his words recorded in scripture. It is important to note, that God does not condemn him as he would be obliged to do if his claims were false.

5 If thou canst answer me, set [thy words] in order before me, stand up.

He issues a challenge to Job to find fault if he can. This is said to give Job the assurance that he sought, that he would be heard should he object. Job did not say a word in protest.

6 Behold, I [am] according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

7 Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.

Elihu shows that he comes in answer to Job’s request. In chapter 9:32-34 the request was made in these terms; “For he is not a man that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman between us that may lay his hand on us both. Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me.” He was to be the mediator who would take God’s part and answer for him, and at the same time show due regard to Job’s low estate.

Job objected strongly to the intimidation resulting from God’s firm hand, and thought it would be fitting for someone to post bail, while he prepared his defense. A mediator was required, and Elihu filled that role.