Elihu’s Torrent of Words & Elihu’s Severity

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Elihu’s Torrent of Words

Elihu complains that Job persists in thinking his wounds are incurable. Well, what do you expect? According to Elihu, Job has scorned all efforts to help him! If he has not sinned himself he must have associated with “workers of iniquity” and walked with evil men! “Job said himself, ‘It doesn’t profit a man anything to delight himself with God.’“

Wait a minute! Job never said that as regarding himself. The words that Elihu is supposedly quoting were words that Job had used to describe the attitude of the ungodly.

By reverting to his own understanding, Elihu brought a dimming of spiritual wisdom and power. His tactfulness was gone, His poise and gentleness, even his sense of exact truth in quoting Job’s words, were all gone.

As silly as it sounds, Elihu proceeds to “teach wisdom” to his elders and he takes up the same line of argument they had presented from the beginning. God is so great, so holy, He would never do anything wicked and men simply get what they deserve. His judgments would be absolutely right. He is the Sovereign Lord of the whole world, yada, yada, yada . . . .

Surely the only right attitude before a God like this, according to Elihu, is a humble acceptance of His chastening, saying, “I’m guilty but I won’t offend you any more. Teach me what I can’t see, if I have sinned, I won’t do it any more.”

“Should God reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? You’re the one that has to choose, not I.” Well, what do you have to say, Job?

Elihu’s Severity

Job just sits there and Elihu gets even more impatient with him. “Everyone knows that Job spoke before without knowledge and without wisdom . . . Father, go ahead and try him to the end … he’s simply adding rebellion to his sin.”

How embarrassing for him. Elihu just keeps rattling on about what he thought Job had said about the profit of serving God, despite Job’s silence.

Job had never even thought about any “advantage” or “profit” in serving the Lord, but he doesn’t say anything to set the record straight, he just lets him go on and on with his torrent of harsh and severe words.

If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.

Other Bible Studies and Commentary are available at Doulos Studies.

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One thought on “Elihu’s Torrent of Words & Elihu’s Severity

    Robert Sutherland said:
    February 25, 2009 at 6:12 am

    You might be interested in this online commentary “Putting God on Trial: The Biblical Book of Job” (http://www.bookofjob.org) as supplementary or background material for your study of the Book of Job. It is not a sin to question God, to demand answers from God. There is a time and a place for such things. It is written by a Canadian criminal defense lawyer, now a Crown prosecutor, and it explores the legal and moral dynamics of the Book of Job with particular emphasis on the distinction between causal responsibility and moral blameworthiness embedded in Job’s Oath of Innocence. It is highly praised by Job scholars (Clines, Janzen, Habel) and the Review of Biblical Literature, all of whose reviews are on the website. It is also taught in 262 US high schools in 40 states through Chapter 17 in The Bible and Its Influence. The author is an evangelical Christian, denominationally Anglican. He is also the Canadian Director for the Mortimer J. Adler Centre for the Study of the Great Ideas, a Chicago-based think tank.

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