June 23

Read Job 34 -- 37

In Today's Reading:

Elihu continues his accusations against Job.

Verses for Today:

Elihu viciously attacked this dear, godly man, saying: Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom. My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for (are those of) wicked men. For he addeth rebellion unto his sin . . . and multiplieth his words against God. . . . Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain (34:35-37; 35:16).

Elihu did not speak until Job's three friends had ended their accusations. Then, four times in five verses, we read variations of the phrase that Elihu's wrath was kindled (Job 32:1-5). He first harshly condemned Job's three friends and then continued to express even greater hostility toward Job because he mistakenly assumed that Job was a self-righteous hypocrite.

This arrogant egotist referred to himself by the words "me," "my," and "I" at least 55 times to inform Job that he (Elihu) alone was chosen to intercede on Job's behalf and to speak in God's stead (32:6 -- 33:33). Elihu's accusations against Job's testimony are, at best, perverted half-truths and misinterpretations (33:8-13).

One of Elihu's most blatant wrongdoings was in saying that Job claimed to be sinlessly perfect (34:6). The fact is that Job acknowledged his imperfection as sin in 7:21 and 13:26. However, the Lord had already proclaimed Job as My servant . . . there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man (1:8) before Elihu came on the scene and declared just the opposite. Elihu falsely stated that Job had said, It [profits] a man nothing that he should delight himself with God (34:9). But Job never said that. This inexperienced young man (32:6) belittled his elders saying: Great men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment (32:9). Elihu further declared that Job had not suffered enough at the hands of God and that the reason that God didn't answer Job's prayers were that he was full of pride (35:10,12), had wrong motives (35:13), and lacked patient trust (35:14).

Elihu's conclusions were in direct opposition to the testimony of God, Who later said that Job had spoken of Me the thing which is right (42:7-8). Many years later, in Ezekiel 14:14-20, the righteousness of Job is again confirmed by God.

During times of personal afflictions, heartbreaking bereavement, persecution, or financial struggles, we need to recall the New Testament saints Paul and Silas. It is a great encouragement for us to read about the salvation of their jailer and his household that resulted from the praises Paul and Silas sang at midnight after they had been wrongfully beaten and imprisoned at Philippi for proclaiming Jesus as the Christ (Acts 16:25-34).

When Christians experience disappointments, sufferings, or tragedies, we are often tempted to become despondent and even fail to pray. That is when we need someone's loving comfort and assurance that our Lord ultimately controls every situation that comes into our lives. Regardless of how wrong things may seem to us, God will use them for our eternal good and for His glory (Romans 8:28; also Genesis 50:20).

Have faith in the wisdom of God, casting all your care (all your concerns) upon Him; for He careth for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Christ Revealed:

As the One whose eyes are upon the ways of man (Job 34:21). The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous (1 Peter 3:12).

Word Studies:

34:36 for = have been like those of; 36:8 holden = held fast; 36:16 no straitness = no restraint or restriction; 36:23 enjoined = appointed; gave orders; 36:33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapor = His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach; 37:10 straitened = frozen; 37:22 terrible = awesome.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Baron Hill (IN) and Justice Clarence Thomas · Pray for your Sunday School teacher · Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific · Major languages: English and Gilbutese · Religious freedom · 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Trust that God will provide your needs when you put His will first in your life (Matthew 6:31-33).

Optional Reading: Ephesians 6

Memory Verse for the Week: John 8:31-32