Bible Pathways 6/23/2001
Read Job 34 -- 37
Elihu did not speak until Job's three friends had ended their accusations. He then condemned Job's three friends and expressed even greater hostility toward Job because he mistakenly assumed that Job was a self-righteous hypocrite. Four times in five verses we read variations of the phrase that Elihu's wrath was kindled (Job 32:1-5).
This arrogant egotist referred to himself by the words "me," "my," and "I" at least 55 times to inform Job that he 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 had 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 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. Elihu continued his vicious attack on this dear, godly man, saying: Job has spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom. My desire is that Job may be tried to the end because his answers (are like those of) wicked men. For he adds rebellion to his sin . . . and multiplies his words against God. . . . Job opens his mouth in vain (34:35-37; 35:16). Elihu further declares that Job has not suffered enough at the hands of God and the reasons that God didn't answer his prayers were that Job 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 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 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 bad it may seem to us, He wants to use it for our 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 (I 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 (I Pet. 3:12).
Word Studies: 34:36 for means have been like those of; 36:8 holden means held fast; 36:16 no straitness means no restraint or restriction; 36:23 enjoined means appointed; gave orders; 36:33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapor means His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach; 37:10 straitened means frozen; 37:22 terrible means awesome.
Government Officials: Rep. Baron Hill (IN) and Justice Clarence Thomas · Pray for Pastor S.I. Ombima, Swahili translator in Kenya · Country: Monaco (32,000) in southeastern France · Major languages: French and English · No open evangelism permitted · 90% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Glory in the Lord. He is Victor over Satan (Zechariah 3:2).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 9:24