Job Sees The Light - Thirty-fifth in a series
Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion
Job 34:1-4 NIV Elihu addresses Job’s friends In Chapter 34, and indirectly, Job. Perhaps he did not feel comfortable to confront him since Job was older and due respect.
He starts by inviting any wise men to hear him. Evidently he considered himself wiser than the others.
Job 34:5-6 NIV Though Elihu invited those present to truly hear him, did he afford that same courtesy to Job? He heard Job’s words, but did he listen to him? Listening requires more than the ear; the inner man must hear, too.
Elihu heard Job incriminate himself, but he did not pay attention to the cry of his heart to reestablish his relationship with God.
In the previous post, we asked, Could Elihu be a Christ figure to Job? Is he a messenger who ransoms the sinner? Early on, the answer is: no. If anything, in Chapter 34 Elihu reveals himself to be more a Satanic figure, an accuser whose goal is to discourage.
It is not hard for Satan to use anyone whether young or old, to carry out his schemes, unless we are on guard and resist his advances. In this instance, he came as an angel of light, a divine messenger. (2 Cor 11:14)
Job 34:7-9 NIV Once again, Job comes under the glaring spotlight of a critical man who judges him for his words without regard for his extreme circumstances. Job gets no ‘wiggle room’ from anyone.
Do your friends throw each word you say into your face? If so, would you consider their behavior a character flaw?
If one expresses pain in painful circumstances, is he a scornful man? Should Job be allowed to say some things without being judged?
God will call Job a faultfinder, but does he consider Job to be ‘fair game’ for men to criticize him? What happened to Miriam and Aaron and to Korah when they criticized Moses? (Num 12:4; 16:16) What happened to Laban when he sought to undermine Jacob? (Gen 31:12) What happened to Ham (Canaan) when he scorned Noah? (Gen 9:24-25) But was Job special to the Lord as were Noah, Jacob and Moses? If so, why? We will return to this question in later posts.
Already, Elihu sounds like the friends of Job whom he considers to be less wise than himself. His accusations are biting and devouring of Job’s spirit.
Job 34:10-12 NIV Elihu is in agreement with the friends that Job’s sorrows are evidence of his misdeeds and crimes. God will not pervert justice for he is also righteous.
Job 34:13-15 NIV The all-powerful God is in complete control and could easily erase us.
Listen, wise men:
Job 34:16-22 NIV God is no respecter of persons.
Of course, these words are directed to Job, not to his friends, for it is obvious to all that Job is that noble man who came under the impartial judgment of the omniscient God.
Job 34:23-28 NIV Here, Elihu is answering Job’s plea for God to meet with him to explain what he has done wrong to deserve such desolation. He states that God owes no wicked man a trial or an audience. The wicked are merely done away with and in a visible fashion so that their judgment by God is plain. This is deserved because of their sins against the poor and afflicted. Furthermore, God is not amenable to man’s entreaties nor his pleas for mercy:
Job 34:29-30 NIV Elihu believes God will not restore the man who sins. This is one way he prevents the godless from reigning— and ruining a populace.
Job 34:31-33a NIV Perhaps this was a direct question to Job. Or, is Elihu challenging the older men to decide whether God will bow to man’s requests for an audience or for his kind consideration if a man will repent?
Job 34:33 NIV Elihu challenges the friends to agree with him that God should not bow to the requests of an evil man.
In this he goes further than the friends who promised Job God would renew his life if only he would turn from his evil. Elihu believes God owes no man the favor of restoration. If a man rejects God’s law in the first place, why would God owe him or show him any mercy? Not possible!
Job 34:34-35 NIV Elihu insists the men should agree with him that Job will receive no mercy from God. Job's terrors prove he is guilty!
Unlike Job’s friends, Elihu does not believe God will help the man who repents. Even were Job to reject his own sin, he could not expect to live without penalty. But in any case, he has not confessed and repented!
Job 34:36-37 NIV Elihu finishes his speech by revealing his heart of stone. He is pharisaic in his view that God is an unforgiving, unrelenting taskmaster. But that description fits Satan, not God.