Change on the horizon

Job Sees The Light - Thirty-seventh in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Many Bible commentators criticize Elihu as prideful and disrespectful. Perhaps in the judgment, along with Chorazin (et al) (Mat 11:21-23), he will face stiff condemnation. On the other hand, he is a young man, so we older ones should lessen our vitriol and increase our permission, with respect to his critical nature. We cannot overlook his doctrinal errors, but may nevertheless see him in a good light as one who loves God and has many wonderful thoughts.

Neither he nor the older men have considered the possibility that God has not brought Job to ruin for his sins but rather for his good. Indeed, there are times when reversals are not for the purpose of punishment or even of discipline. Reversals do test our faith, but when they are not served to us for any gross sin, then we must seek deeper understanding. The superficial view blocks the sun of God’s glory in Job’s terrifying trial, and we cannot see God’s hand of help.

Job 36:1-4 NIV Elihu desires to continue in his discourse, even though he has taken more time than the older men. He believes that what he has to say is from the mouth of God.

Job 36:5-7 NIV He explains to Job: God is evenhanded with the mighty and the weak, but unmerciful to evil men. He exalts the righteous to rule with kings.

Job 36:8-10 NIV Here we see a softening of Elihu’s previous words in Chapter 35 that God will not “make repayment” to the prideful man, or in Chapter 34 where he denies that Job has any standing with the Almighty. He returns to his insight of Chapter 33 that God will deliver the soul of the repentant.

Job 36:11-14 NIV Yet, Elihu considers Job a reprobate who refuses to come down from his high horse and is heaping up God’s wrath.

Job 36:15-17 NIV If Job would only confess his wrongs, he would by now be restored. Now who is determining God’s timetable? Previously, Elihu condemned Job for thinking God was late in coming to his aid.

Job 36:18 NIV Elihu had originally offered to be a ransom for Job. His words as God’s messenger would effect Job’s release from his trial, for he would realize he needed to change his ways.

Job 36:19-21 NIV He warns Job not to continue in his opposition to repentance, but to embrace the affliction that has resulted from his sins. Of course, for Job to agree with him, he would need to deny his integrity.

Is Job right to refuse to deny his integrity? What do you think?

Job 36:22-23 NIV Elihu speaks eloquently for God: No one should ever dispute God’s works. Likewise, no one should think he infallibly understands the purposes of God in the events of life.

Job 36:24-25 NIV All men of God should be careful to testify that God is good all the time. Their witness is in plain view and others will take it to heart.

Job 36:26 NIV A wonderful thought!

Job 36:27-31 NIV It is through rain or drought that men know God's judgment of their behavior. Without rain, they will not eat.

Job 36:32-33 NIV There seems to be a change in the weather stirring; Elihu’s thoughts turn to the phenomenon of rain. God has designed his creation to water itself yet he controls the cycle. (This was written before the heavy hand of geoengineering.)

We perceive a storm approaching in the distant thunder, and the cattle know it, too, by their perception of atmospheric change. Thus, the thunder may serve as confirmation to the stirring of the cattle that we see first. Likewise we can discern God’s warnings to us through events in our environs, if we pay attention.

How perfect are the ways of the Lord. No matter how intense our suffering, we will rest in his lovingkindness. At times his love is only perceptible by his power to preserve us whole, despite Satanic assault, degradation, insults, catastrophe, bereavement, loss and grief, and self focus.

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