John T. Willis

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Elihu--Part 4 [God Sees All]--Job 34

Job does not intervene, so Elihu continues his thoughts--now in Job 34. Again, Elihu FIRST "quotes" Job's arguments, and only then responds. Thus, Job 34 falls into two parts. Elihu's primary contention is that God behaves righteously in spite of the fact that OFTEN it APPEARS that God behaves unrighteously from a HUMAN PERSPECTIVE. And this is what is REALLY going on in the Book of Job.

I. Elihu "quotes" Job's arguments. Job 34:1-9.
a. As Elihu continues, first Elihu addresses Job, Job's friends, and all the others in the audience. He respectfully calls them "wise men," "you who know"--verses 1-4. In my opinion, Elihu is not sarcatic here.
b. Elihu says Job has argued that he is "innocent" and yet "God has taken away my right." Verses 5-6. Job 9:13-22; 13:13, 18, 23-27 and many other texts verify the correctness of Elihu's observations on this point.
c. Elihu responds that since this argument of Job is true, Job is speaking as the "wicked." Verses 7-8. I would agree that Job's argument on this point is "wicked." God rebukes Job for this, and Job later repents. See Job 38:1-42:6.
d. Elihu also says that Job had argued that there is no profit in serving God. Verse 9. God is arbitrary, so whether a human being is righteous or wicked, God may bless or curse that person. Obviously, Job declared this point repeatedly. See for example Job 9:22.

II. Elihu responds by affirming that God is JUST, even though human beings often THINK God is UNJUST. Job 34:10-37.
a. Elihu declares: By definition, God does not do wickedness, do not do wrong, does not do wickedly, does not pervert justice. Who is God? God created the whole world and all human beings on earth. Human beings are totally dependent on God. How could anyone think God is unjust? Verses 10-15.
b. Kings, princes, nobles, the rich are ALL the work of God's hands. When such people sin against God, God treats them justly, even though it may not APPEAR to other human beings. God has his OWN WAYS to deal with wicked people. Verses 16-20.
c. God always watches human beings. God "sees ALL their steps" (note carefully verse 21). This is so important. We see "some things" that others do. God sees ALL they do. Our judgment may be quite different from God's judgment. Wicked people cannot hide from God. Contrary to Job's proposal that God summon all human beings to meet before God to be judged (Job 24:1-12), Elihu declares that God constantly metes out judgment to human beings over all the earth. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the whole world, and HE is quite capable to deal with sinful people. What human being is in a position to say to God: YOU NEED TO CONDEMN that person or VINDICATE me? From a human perspective, it may SEEM that God is "quiet" or "hides his face," but in reality, he is quite capable to deal with "a nation or an individual." Verses 21-30.
d. Elihu reminds everyone, including Job, that AT BEST, ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Think of Romans 3:23. Human beings "pretend" that they have not sinned, but this is wrong. Hence, Elihu concludes that Job is speaking without knowledge and his words are without insight. Verses 31-35. In my opinion, Elihu is quite correct on this point. Job has been speaking from his own perspective, not from God's perspective. I would probably do the same. But in my opinion, Job is wrong on this point.
e. Elihu concludes that Job's position is "wicked." Job "multiplies his words against God." Verses 36-37. If you have heard Job's arguments, how can anyone avoid this conclusion. Elihu is correct. Job is getting the point, and thus Job does not respond. Elihu will continue in Job 35, 36, and 37.

What are YOUR thoughts about Elihu's reasoning? Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


  • Great point of view Sir! I was reccomended to you blog by Tim Archer. I am reading through Job currently and am learning a lot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 AM  

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