Bible Reading for JUN07: Job 32-34


In chapter 32 a fourth friend enters the picture. He begins
a speech which continues through chapter 37. Someone had to
intervene, for the discussion between Job and his friends was
getting more heated all the time. Thus Elihu appears as a moderator.
In this chapter he directs his speech toward Eliphaz, Bildad, and
Zophar. He was angry with them because they had condemned Job as a
hypocrite, though they had found no reasonable foundation for their
arguments. They had declared repeatedly that Job was suffering
because of his sin, and that God was judging him because of his lack
of repentance. They posed as wise men, offering their counsel. With
this Elihu strongly disagreed. He had listened to Job’s accusers
take advantage of him; now he would stand and speak for the truth.

In chapter 33 Elihu speaks very pointedly to Job. He is
concerned that Job listen to everything he has to say, and more
concerned that Job will take these things to heart. In verses 8 and
9 he charges that Job has gone too far in his attempt to answer his
accusers. Job was a man of purity and high moral standards, but he
was still a man. Indeed, he was not what his three friends had
declared him to be, a vile, hypocritical sinner. But like all the
rest of us, he was human and under the condemnation of sin. Jeremiah
17:9 also applied to Job. “The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Much of Elihu’s speech consisted of his telling Job and his
accusers what wonderful things he was going to say! However, like
Job’s accusers, his chief wisdom was in the use of words which
concealed, rather than making plain, what he meant. His main
contention seems to have been that suffering is intended of God to
be corrective rather than punitive.

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