The Accusations of Men Job 3-37, cont’d.
Job 22-31 Accusations Round 3 (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar), cont’d.
Job 27-31 Job’s Summary Response: The wicked will be punished. God knows everything. God was blessing me. Now, I am suffering…though I am innocent. I don’t like it. God is allowing it. I don’t understand why, or think it’s fair. I trust God. I’m through talking, cont’d.
Job 31:1-Job gives illustrations of the inequity of what has happened to him. For instance, he had determined that he would not allow himself to look at a woman and have impure thoughts about her (:1). And yet, even though he had not done so, and his heart was pure (:7b), he was still suffering as if he had done so. God is aware of all that he does (:2-3). He says that he agrees that if he had done such a thing then he should be punished (:4-12). He then gives several other illustrations of how he has done right in his life:
- his treatment of his slaves (:13-15)
- his response to the poor (:16-23)
- his trust in riches (:24-28)
- his joy over the destruction of an enemy (:29-30)
- his treatment of his own people (:31)
- his treatment of the alien (:32)
- the land that he farms (:38-40).
Job says that he has not tried to hide his sin (as Adam did, :33), but if he had sinned he would quickly admit it.
This is all that Job has to say, he is through talking (:40c).
Job 32-37 Elihu’s 4 Accusations (4 speeches)
Job 32-33 Accusation #1: You are wrong to complain against God…He is accountable to no one.
Job 32:1-5-Job's 3 friends give up trying to convince him that he has sinned because "he is righteous in his own eyes" (:1). In other words, he is so convinced that he is right…that he will not listen to the truth.
Now, a man who had not spoken because he was younger (:4), can hold back no longer. He is not mentioned as one of Job’s friends…but he evidently had witnessed the whole encounter. He is seething with anger towards Job because he "justified himself before God" (:2). His anger also burned against the other 3 men...because they had not been able to convince Job (:3,5). He is a descendant of Buz…the nephew of Abraham (Genesis 22:21). Originally, there had been three friends (2:11-Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar) who had come to comfort Job. Now, Elihu is called a friend (:3) of these men. We don’t know if he had previously known Job, or not. Perhaps he had heard of this great man named Job and wanted to accompany his “friends” to meet him. But now, he becomes indignant at Job’s refusal to listen to his “friends” counsel. So, he decides that if they cannot set him straight…he will (:4-5).
Job 32:6-10-Elihu says that at first he did not speak because he felt that older men would be wiser men...but he has decided that is not necessarily true. Instead, it is "a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding. The abundant in years may not be wise, nor may elders understand justice" (:8-9). Elihu says that much to his surprise the advancement of age does not guarantee the increase of wisdom. He has realized that wisdom comes from God…no matter one’s age. So, he feels comfortable and confident to say his piece.
Job 32:11-22-Elihu chides the other three men for not refuting Job’s thinking. He tells them to not use the excuse that they had done their job by speaking the truth. And now, it was God’s job to convince him…but evidently He had not yet done that (:13). Elihu says that he will take a different approach than they did. He says that the only reason he hasn't straightened things out so far is because the spirit has held him back (:18). Elihu is so eager to speak that he is about to bust (:19-20). He promises that he is not just trying to impress people with his wisdom (:21-22).
Prayer: Father, it is true that You are the ultimate and final source of wisdom. I pray that You would give me all that I need to serve You. Help me to be able to give godly counsel to those who are struggling. Let me be a source of help, and guidance, and comfort to those who are going through difficult times…because when I speak they hear Your words falling from my lips.