Monday, May 7, 2018

Year 8, Day 127: Job 33

Theological Commentary: Click Here

When Elihu speaks, I think he speaks with great technique.  Elihu empathizes with Job by saying that he is with God as Job is.  Elihu doesn’t deny that Job is walking with God.  Elihu is trying to put Job in as best of a position as possible to listen.

The second thing that Elihu does that is wise is to show that he has been listening.  Elihu quotes Job.  When Elihu quotes Job, he isn’t quoting him to mock him, or twist his words, or to use them as ammunition against Job.  Instead, Elihu is quoting Job to lay a common reference point.  He is trying to demonstrate to Job that he is willing to meet him where he is.

With these two pieces of arguing done, Elihu starts his own thought.  Elihu tries to tell Job that there is another way to see the things that happen to us.  Instead of seeing the hand of God as punishment for wrong-doing, Elihu teaches that God sometimes has things happen to us to teach us lessons.  I believe that there is a good bit of truth here.  Sometimes God does let us suffer the consequences of our own choices to give us time to think about the cause and effect nature of life.

However, I also think this is where Elihu goes astray.  In trying to justify God’s action, Elihu goes to far.  God isn’t trying to teach Job a lesson.  God is actually trying to teach a lesson to the people around Job, especially Satan.  The lesson isn’t so much for Job as it is for us!

God is trying to show that faith can endure great hardship.  God is trying to show that faith is the only way through inexplicable hardship!  God is tying to show that the most powerful force that we as human beings can experience is a hope that comes with relationship to Him.  That’s the point of Job.  Job already knows this, although the reminder probably doesn’t hurt.  But it is our lesson to learn just as much as it is for Job and his friends.