Elihu's speech covers six chapters, we provide this simple overview
to help the reader see where they are in each chapter:
God IS a Communicator
Job has got it wrong!
God IS Just
God IS Supreme
Job 33: Elihu – Part 2 of 6: God IS a communicator
Comments: After his introduction, we now see Elihu aiming
more directly for Job, by challenging him to listen to him [v.1-7]
and contesting his claim to be pure [v.8-12]. He then picks him
up on saying God wouldn't speak to us [v.13] but points out that
He speaks through dreams and even through suffering!!! [v.14-22]
but His aim is always to bring us to repentance and face the truth
about ourselves [v.23-26] so that we may testify about His forgiveness
and restoration [v.27-30]. He concludes by inviting Job to respond
if he wants [v.31-33]. He says nothing.]
He calls Job to listen to him
now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say.
I am about
to open my mouth; my words are on the tip of my tongue.
My words come
from an upright heart ; my lips sincerely speak what I
Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me
then, if you can; stand up and argue your case before me.
I am the same
as you in God's sight; I too am a piece of clay.
of me should alarm you, nor should my hand be heavy on you.
Elihu asks Job to focus on him for he seeks to come from a place
of righteousness, not threateningly but certainly with a challenge.]
He recalls what he heard Job saying about his innocence
you have said in my hearing— I heard the very words—
am pure, I have done no wrong; I am clean and free from sin.
Yet God has
found fault with me; he considers me his enemy.
fastens my feet in shackles; he keeps close watch on all my paths.'
“But I tell
you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than any mortal.
He challenges Job over what he has said – he is righteous
but God has been harsh with him. You shouldn't blame God – implied.]
But God does speak, for instance in dreams…
Why do you
complain to him that he responds to no one's words?
God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives
a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people
as they slumber in their beds,
he may speak
in their ears and terrify them with warnings,
turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride,
preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the
…. or through suffering
someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress
in their bones,
so that their
body finds food repulsive and their soul loathes the choicest
wastes away to nothing, and their bones, once hidden, now stick
draw near to the pit, and their life to the messengers of death.
Job has complained that God won't talk to him. In fact in 12:4
he had said he had called on God and He had answered him, but
he did say he wanted to talk to God [13:22] yet God seemed elusive
[ch.23]. Indeed he did cry out to God but God didn't seem to answer
[30:20] and throughout his main feeling is of having been abandoned
by God and cannot get a reason from heaven why. Elihu maintains
that God speaks through a whole variety of ways – dreams, or circumstances.]
But God sends help to bring repentance
if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a
thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright,
and he is
gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going
down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them—
their flesh be renewed like a child's; let them be restored as
in the days of their youth'—
person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see
God's face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being.
Elihu maintains that God does send helpers to teach us and redeem
us and, even though it may take time [implied] we will be redeemed.]
Then they can testify to the truth of their failings – and deliverance!
And they will
go to others and say, ‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is
right, but I did not get what I deserved.
has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live
to enjoy the light of life.'
does all these things to a person— twice, even three times—
to turn them
back from the pit, that the light of life may shine on them.
All of the work of God [following from the previous passages]
is to help us come to repentance and face our sin and then His
salvation available to us.]
To conclude, he invites Job to answer
Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
you have anything to say, answer me; speak up, for I want to vindicate
But if not,
then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”
If Job has an answer to this, he ought to speak up.]
Comments: Ironically Elihu takes a similar stance to
Job – I come with an upright heart [v.3], but to be fair his charge
is that although Job proclaims his innocence, his biggest fault
is in blaming God [v.10-12]. Perhaps unfairly he takes Job's words,
spoken as generalities in the midst of anguish, and chides him
for them – that God doesn't respond to anyone's words [v.13].
He maintains that God does speak all the time though we fail to
hear Him [v.14] and uses dreams as well as speaking through the
difficult circumstances of life [v.15-22]. He DOES speak and His
goal is to bring us to face the fact that we are sinners and offer
us salvation [v.23-30]. He maintains he wants to defend and help
Job [v.32] and so if Job has anything to say, say it now. [v.32,33].
doubt there is a lot of truth in his words in this chapter but,
yet again, one feels there is a lack of compassion for Job and
understanding of his plight and anguish. At the beginning of the
chapter there is lack of knowledge because Ch.1 & 2 show God
IS the cause of Job's plight. Job IS right in attributing it to
Him, but the test is the way we say it – from rebellious anger
or in submissive humility. Perhaps in the midst of his terrible
anguish Job has not been wholly right in his attitude but, as
Jesus declared, “ Let any
one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.”