Elihu Challenges Job to Debate
Verses 3-7 – Elihu’s word’s would be from the heart and expressed with sincerity. He acted like an attorney in a legal proceeding and after he had stated his case, Job was free to try to refute him with counter arguments.
Verses 8-11 – Elihu demonstrates that he was listening as Job told of his innocence and being unjustly oppressed by God.
Verse 13 – It’s natural to want to know why something is happening in our lives. Job wanted to know why he was having to suffer this way. When he didn’t get an answer, he became frustrated. Sound familiar? Elihu claimed to have the answer to Job’s biggest question. Elihu says that God was trying to answer, but Job wasn’t listening. He says if God answered all our questions of “why,” we would not be adequately tested. Our biggest test will be to trust God’s goodness, even in our pain. As Christians we learn to trust God through…
Verses 14-24 – Elihu points out that God had already spoken again and again through dreams and visions and through suffering, which Job was not listening to or paying attention, but that was not true.
Elihu Speaks Out of Anger
Verses 1-3 – Elihu was angry because he perceived that Job had argued for his own righteousness, implying God was therefore unjust and because of Job’s friends had condemned him without getting to the essential issue in his case.
Apparently Elihu was a bystander and much younger than the others, but introduced a new viewpoint. Elihu maintained that Job was sinning because of his suffering. He also pointed out that Job had become arrogant as he tried to defend his innocence. Elihu said suffering was not meant to punish as much as it was to keep us on the right path. He was urging Job to look at his suffering in a different perspective. He maintained that a correct attitude toward suffering will bring healing and restoration. But he still thought suffering was somehow connected to one’s sins.
Verses 6-10 – Elihu spoke about wisdom, that it was not just for the old but was available to everyone. It’s not enough to recognize a great truth; it must be lived out each day.
Verses 1-4 – Job had not only avoided committing the great sin of adultery, he had not even taken the first steps by even looking at another woman with lust. Job said he was innocent of both inward and outward sin.
Verse 7 – 5, 6 – The metaphor of where one’s foot walks expresses proper conduct.
Verse 7 – The body parts mentioned here, heart, mind, eyes, and hands, are often used to express ethical conduct.
verses 16 -22 – Job offered a long list of it-then statements, calling down a curse on himself if he had failed to do the right thing in any of these cases.
Verses 24-28 – Job says that depending on wealth for one’s happiness is idolatry and denies the God of heaven. Our society today is obsessed with money and possessions as a “necessary evil.” However every society in every age has valued the power and prestige that money brings. True believers know though, that the prosperity we have , comes from God to be a resource to help others.
Verses 33, 34 – Job declare he had not covered up any hidden sins, as some men do. Job had not played the hypocrite by sinning in secret while pretending to be virtuous.
Verses 38-40 – Job finished with a final testimony toward his vindication in the form of two more conditional statements and a curse. He had demonstrated his integrity and righteousness toward his fellow-man.
Job Describes His Humiliation
We have all seen people of great stature fall from their high positions, at one time or another in life. Most lost either position in society, families, even political office, because of their own demise. They ended up being humiliated (some were too proud to admit they ever did anything wrong).
Not so with Job. Let’s go back to what was first written about Job: Job 1:1: “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.”
God’s perception of Job never changed even when his circumstances did. From all the previous chapters, we see that Job was honest and right before God. However, when he began to suffer these great loses, he became ashamed, humiliated, and suffered emotionally because of what was happening to him.
For Job to suffer in his extreme loss as he did, was humiliating enough, but he had been abused by men who thought they were speaking for God. They poured salt into an open wound. How easy we lose our own self-respect when we suffer.
Job Remembers His Happy Past
Verses 4-6 – Job describes his former life as cream and oil, symbolizing life’s finest pleasures. Jobs flocks and olive trees were so plentiful that everything seemed to overflow.
Verses 7-10 – The town square at the city gate served as a place for legal and judicial decisions, a market place, and social gatherings. Job remembers sitting there with others having the utmost respect for him as they would treat him as a judge. Nobles would come and wait for Job to speak. Job walked a fine line here, between bragging about past accomplishments and recalling good deeds in order to answer the charges against him. Job came dangerously close to a spirit of pride. Pride can be especially deceptive when we are doing whats right. Then comes the tendency to trust our own opinions. It’s not wrong to recount past good deeds, but its far better to recount God’s blessings to us.
Verse 11-13 – Contrary to Eliphaz’s charge, Job took care of the poor, orphans, the dying, and the widows. This brought admiration from everyone.
Verses 21-24 – Jobs opinions and decisions were valued as refreshing rain or dew in a dry region. Because Job was considered wise and powerful, everyone highly valued Job’s approval.
Verses 1-12 – Mining and refining were widely known in the ancient world. Sometimes tunnel walls were heated with fire and then quickly drenched with water to crack hard stones. The rocks, which were then hauled to the surface, might contain sapphire.
Verse 13 – Job stated that wisdom cannot be found among the living. It’s natural for people who do not understand the importance of God’s Word to seek wisdom here on earth. They look to philosophers and other leaders to give them direction for living. No leader or group of leaders can produce the kind of wisdom that can only come from God. Read and study God’s Word, and there you will find the wisdom you need for this life.
Verse 16 – Gold of Ophir was considered the finest gold available. Ophir may have been located in Africa or India. Wherever it was, it was a good distance from Israel, for it took Solomon’s ships three years to make the voyage (1 Kings 9:28; 10:22).
Verse 28 – Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. This fear of the Lord does not mean we are to be afraid of God. It means to have respect and reverence for God to be in “awe” of His majesty and power–worship. This is the starting point for true wisdom.
Job Affirms His Righteousness
Verse 6 – In the midst of all the accusations, Job was able to say that he had a clear conscience. The determination to live right before God and knowing God forgave him of sin, gave Job that clear conscience. Too many Christians walk around with a “sin conscience.” They feel guilty of past wrong-doings. When Christ died for the “Whole World,” all those who were born after this had only future sins. Christ Blood that was shed on Calvary was for past, present, and future sin. If you are born-again, you are completely forgiven. Job knew, by these verses, that he was in right standing with God and so are we through Jesus Christ. What Job had allowed to happen to Job had nothing to do with his righteousness.
Verses 13-23 – Job agreed with his friends that the end of the wicked will be disaster, but he did not agree with them that he was wicked and deserved the same punishment. Job might have been discouraged but he was content with his integrity. Clapping the hands, hissing, and shaking of the head were common gestures of contempt.