Elihu Taught Job An Important Lesson

From an e-mail discussion, sent by a web visitor | July 2017

Job 32-12, “So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.

       Job's three friends weren't friends, but what about Elihu, who's name means:

“The name Elihu is a Hebrew baby name. In Hebrew the meaning of the name Elihu is: My God is He. Elihu was a young man in the biblical Book of Job who gave fiery defense of God's righteousness. Elihu confronts Job that Job justified himself rather than God. It's hard when you lose everything in life, and of course we all sin, but there was something in Job that was self righteous.

Job 32-12, So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.

Job may have been proud of his righteousness, and that could be a big part of his problem. In any case, his focus was not on glorifying and honoring God. When it came down to it, feeling that he was righteous was more important to him than believing that God was righteous. He preferred to defend himself than to defend God. He was not thinking, “Whatever God's reason is for afflicting me, He is right and just in what He is doing, because God is perfect in righteousness and infinite in wisdom and I am not. Maybe I have a fault in me I don't know of, or maybe God is testing me, but whatever God's reason is for afflicting me, his decision is right and good, because God is more righteous than I am.”

He may have had the right attitude in the beginning of his trial. “'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:21-22). “Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!' But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:9-10).

But under the pressure of affliction, it came to the surface that when it came to a choice between believing in God's righteousness or his own, he defended himself more than God.

Yes, Job's problem could be described as self-righteousness, as long as we do not confuse his problem with the problem people usually attach to the term, the problem of despising other people and general fault-finding like the Pharisees. I don't see evidence of that in the book of Job, except perhaps with Job's three “friends” who accused him falsely.

The focus in the book of Job is how we think about God. Do we believe God is righteous? How strongly do we believe that? Do we really trust God and all His decisions? How strong is our faith in God's word, His promises, and His perfect character, especially when we are suffering in a trial?

This is what the book of Job is about.

I think Elihu was Job's friend and also his name means, “My God is He which leads me to think.” Elihu taught Job a lesson.

Job 33:1-33, “Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words. Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth. My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay. Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee. Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying,  I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me. Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy, He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths. Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters. For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak. If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee. If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.”

Why There's A Hell (MP3 sermon by Pastor Danny Castle)

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8

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