Jesus responded to the Pharisees’ anger toward the children’s praise of the Messiah and quoted from the Old Testament, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” (Matthew 21:16).
Elihu is the “babe” among Job’s friends. As a youth respecting his elders, Elihu sits quietly by while Job and his friends exchange barbs. Finally, when everyone is silent, he speaks. He begins by stating that he is no different from Job and his friends, “Truly I am as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay” (33:6). Then he brings God front and center into the conversation by declaring that, “God is greater than man” (33:12), and that He speaks “in order to turn man from his deed and conceal pride from man” (33:17). He continues his discourse by exalting God:
- “Far be it from God to do wickedness” (34:10).
- God, the mighty Righteous One governs the world with justice: “Should the one who hates justice govern?” (34:17).
- God is impartial in carrying out justice: “Yet He is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; for they are all the work of His hands” (34:19).
- Nothing man does escapes His eye, “For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps” (34:21).
- God is aware of individuals and nations; both are accountable to Him: “And when He hides His face, who then can see Him, whether it is against a nation or a man alone?” (34:29)
- He judges the wicked and rewards the righteous: “He does not preserve the life of the wicked, but gives justice to the oppressed. He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; but they are on the throne with kings, for He has seated them forever” (36:6-7).
- God uses affliction and suffering to rescue the righteous from falling into sin: “He delivers the poor in their affliction, and opens their ears in oppression. Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress, into a broad place where there is no restraint” (36:15-16). This truth, perhaps, is most revolutionary to the sufferer. God uses a person’s suffering to prevent him from great evil, “Take heed, do not turn to iniquity, for you have chosen this rather than affliction” (36:21).
Only eternity will reveal how hard and difficult things delivered us from doing grievous evil. Not bad theology from a young guy!
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading(Job 32:1-34:37):
- Describe Elihu’s attitude toward Job’s three friends (34:8).
- Describe Elihu’s attitude toward Job.
- What truth about God’s character does Elihu highlight to Job?