Class 9, Chapters 32-34
Chapter 32, Elihu
32:1—even if we are correct on a point or in a discussion, we can render ourselves ineffective with the people we’re talking to if we seem to be righteous in our own eyes.
32:2—Job’s big problem and ultimate dilemma are why Elihu is angry. He justified himself rather than God. We can fall into the same trap.
32:3—Job’s 3 friends failed to answer the big question Job had for them in 6:24. (What have I done wrong?)
32:4—Elihu is respectful of people and customs
32:5—Elihu waits for the 3 to come up with an answer and burns with anger when they fail to do so.
32:6-7—Initially Elihu is apprehensive about speaking because of his age, so he respectfully waits for the other men to speak in their wisdom and reach a conclusion on the matter.
32:8-9—Elihu reveals where wisdom truly comes from. It comes from God, not age alone
32:10—Elihu is continuing to be respectful. At first, he was silent to let his elders speak. Then he says he will speak but not just because he feels it’s his turn, but because he has said that wisdom comes from God. He is meekly declaring he has something to say in wisdom.
32:11-12—I listened and waited and here we are, still without an answer as to what Job has done. Not one person here could find the answer.
32:13—Be careful before confidently asserting that you speak on God’s behalf
32:14—Job hasn’t argued with me, so I’m not going to tell him the same stuff you 3 did
32:15—Elihu speaks of Job’s 3 friends in the third person saying how they ran out of words trying to solve this problem
32:16—should I remain silent because my elders are? We still haven’t figured this out yet
32:17—Elihu resolves to speak after making a case for doing so. He is able to be respectful and authoritative in his declaration.
32:18-19—I have to speak; it’s not just an idle want. It’s a need.
32:20—I need to speak on this matter or I’m going to lose it! I need to speak.
32:21—Elihu sets the stage for an objective look at things. No flattery, no partiality. He will be just. All the more reason to listen to him.
32:22—Elihu is honest and doesn’t know how to use flattery. He is above this and knows flattery has no place in the words of a man of God. God would not tolerate this. Elihu knows he is accountable to God for the things he says.
***Think of how Job’s 3 friends have taken the liberty of asserting their opinions and declaring them to be on God’s behalf. They didn’t focus very much on how they are accountable to God for the words they used. Elihu plainly states that he (and everyone) is accountable to God for the words we use.***
Chapter 33, Elihu
33:1-2—up to this point Elihu has given an introduction to the other men and will now speak the words he has prepared
33:3—Elihu speaks with sincerity
33:4—The breath of the Almighty gives life and understanding (32:8). So if someone doesn’t have understanding, they are living apart from God
33:6-7—I was made just like you. Don’t worry, I’ll take it easy on you, Job.
33:8—I have listened to you speak
33:13—saying God won’t answer me is a form of contending against him.
33:14—He does answer, in multiple ways but people usually don’t realize it. (Why won’t God answer my prayers? This is typically used when someone hasn’t received what they want when they want it. The idea of prayer being “answered” is applied in a narrow and inaccurate way when it only refers to one possible answer.)
33:15-18—God uses dreams to warn and turn man away from evil, and take away foolish pride.
33:19-22—the pain man experiences causes him to not want to live forever. You could say it keeps us from being foolish in the way of wanting our lives to go on forever on this earth.
32:23-26—If there is a mediator for man to ask God to restore him and deliver him, man prays and God accepts him. God shows mercy that man doesn’t deserve.
32:27-28—man knows it was God who saved him and was merciful. He didn’t get what he deserved.
32:29-30—God does this repeatedly with man, to keep him from death, and to make life enjoyable again.
32:31-33—Elihu pauses to make sure Job is with him and encourages him to speak if he has words. If not, he will continue to teach Job wisdom.
Chapter 34, Elihu
34:2-4—Listen up everyone. Let us be in agreement with what is good.
34:5-6—Job has said he has done nothing wrong. Despite my integrity, God has done this to me and I’m considered a liar. I can do nothing to save myself but I’m innocent.
34:7-8—Job’s words mark him as a scoffer and companion of evildoers because…
34:9—Job seems to think it’s no use to delight in God
34:10—Listen up everyone—wise men—God doesn’t act wrongly or wickedly.
34:11—God repays man according to man’s works and ways
34:12—God doesn’t pervert justice (8:3)
34:13—rhetorical question—who put God in charge???
34:14-15—if God wanted, he could take his breath back to himself, and as he gathered it all people would perish. God supplies life (10:12, 33:3)
34:17—Will you put God (who is righteous and mighty) in the wrong?
***How many people blame God for man’s evil? How many people believe the reasoning that there CAN’T be a just God in charge of this messed up evil world? How does the blame always get placed on God?***
34:18-20—God shows no partiality toward men who might hide behind their titles or positions (the governing and ruling). God declares the true state of their lives. God gives and takes life; it’s up to him.
34:21-23—God sees everything man does. There’s no hiding it from God. This is why God has no need to consider a man any further—he already knows all that a person has done.
***Does God need to think twice? The old rule of measure twice, cut once is for man, not God. Man makes mistakes and even skilled craftsmen follow this simple rule, but God doesn’t make mistakes.***
34:24—God gets rid of the mighty and replaces them. There isn’t any investigation that we need to see. God has acted because God knows and has decided, and so it will be.
34:25—God overturns the wicked in the night, the time of day the wicked choose to carry out their evil deeds thinking nobody will see. 24:13-17.
34:26-27—the wicked tried to act in secret, but God will destroy them in front of everyone since they turned aside and went their own way
34:28—the afflicted cry out to God in their distress and he hears them
34:29—if God decides to act in a way that man doesn’t understand or agree with, man has no power to change it. God does what he pleases; Psalm 135:6
34:30—God won’t tolerate wickedness indefinitely. He knows wicked people, especially wicked rulers, will lead others astray.
34:31-32—nobody is acquitted because they simply say “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.”
34:33—does God allow you to define how you will pay for your transgressions?
34:34-37—wise men will say Job doesn’t speak with knowledge. He speaks like the wicked and acts rebellious with his gestures, continually speaking against God.