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Job 32-34


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson  
Thru the Bible in a Year
            A new counselor emerges in these chapters:  Elihu.  It appears that because of his age (he is younger than the others), he has been watching in the shadows, listening and waiting.  Now, however, he announces that he is ready to show the error in both Job’s and his friends’ arguments. 
            After a prose introduction, he offers four speeches set to poetry (32:5-33:33; 34:1-37; 35:1-16; 36:1-37:24).  He places Job and his friends equally in the wrong for failing to defend God’s honor:  Job, because he put his own defense ahead of God; the friends because they did such a poor job of supporting God’s position.
            It is interesting to note that while God condemns the other three of Job’s friends in His later speech, he does not condemn Elihu — perhaps because Elihu’s criticism is restricted to showing the error of Job’s statements and not aimed at the past actions of Job’s life. 
            Elihu overstates Job’s position at points:  incorrectly quoting Job as saying he is without sin when Job has only denied the outrageous sins which might result in such suffering as he is experiencing; asserting Job believes God never speaks with human beings when Job’s complaint is simply God’s silence in this particular instance.
            None the less, Elihu sees accurately that God uses suffering to get our attention, that God cannot be the author of evil, and that Job is speaking without adequate knowledge (something Job will himself admit in 38:2).
            The eloquent and intensely delivered speeches of human beings can never convey all that God wants to convey Himself (as we will see in God’s answer).  This is why it is so dangerous for us to judge the motives, intentions and spiritual condition of other people.  Of all the four friends of Job, Elihu comes closest to being right; yet even though he is not condemned with the others by God, he does not get the analysis entirely right because he lacks God’s perspective.
            Our best Source of advice, counsel and direction is God Himself.  That does not mean we should not listen to (or read) the words of human beings.  It does mean that ultimately we will learn, grow and benefit more from reading God’s Word (the Bible) and listening to God’s promptings through His Holy Spirit than in any other way.
            Are you studying God’s Word to discover His will for your life?  Hopefully this study can help.  Are you listening for the inspiration of His Spirit as you go through the day, in order to follow Him and find the hope and strength He has to offer?
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010