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 36: Elihu – Part 5 of 6: God IS Just
Comments: This is a strange chapter in that it comes
from a young man who claims superior knowledge and revelation
[v.3a]. Elihu's goal is clear from the outset – to show that God
is just [v.3b]. God, he explains, is the sovereign overseer of
mankind [v.5-7] and because suffering usually has a reason, where
it is to do with sin, God explains that in order to bring us to
repentance when He then blesses us [v.8-11], while ignorant rebellion
results in death [v.12]. He expands on this in v.13,14 but points
out that the repenting righteous will be saved [v.15,16]. He then
turns to Job and counsels him to act rightly in this respect [v.17-21]
and concludes that God who is supreme is worthy of our praise
[v.22-25] even if we cannot understand His greatness [v.26-33].
A great deal of truth, even if lacking compassion.]
Elihu purports to speak up for God – that He IS just
with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more
to be said in God's behalf.
get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to
that my words are not false; one who has perfect knowledge is
The word ‘perfect' used
in v.4 is the same as describes Job in 1:1 and means ‘complete
and straight' . He implies
that it is so because God has taught him and for this reason he
will say more on God's behalf to show He is just.]
Elihu explains: God watches over the righteous and unrighteous
giving what is due
is mighty, but despises no one; he is mighty, and firm in his
He does not
keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights.
He does not
take his eyes off the righteous; he enthrones them with kings
The Lord impartially brings
life or allows death where appropriate, especially caring to the
Where people suffer, God explains why & if they repent He
if people are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction,
he tells them
what they have done— that they have sinned arrogantly.
He makes them
listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil.
If they obey
and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
and their years in contentment.
if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without
Those who are suffering
will find God telling them what has brought it on them. and where
they need correction and repent, He will save them and bless them.]
The suffering godless refuse to turn to God and die in their suffering
in heart harbor resentment; even when he fetters them, they do
not cry for help.
They die in
their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines.
who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in
“He is wooing
you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction,
to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
The godless never respond
well in suffering, refusing to repent and go in to die in their
suffering, despite God's efforts to help them see the error of
Don't let your riches lead you away to evil
now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and
justice have taken hold of you.
that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn
wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would
not be in distress?
not long for the night, to drag people away from their homes.
of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.
applies the previous words to Job. He's the one now suffering
what the wicked experience [v.17] so he should not trust in wealth
helping him [v.18,19] or turn to other forms of injustice to deliver
you from your affliction [v.20,21] i.e. beware looking for wrong
paths out of your predicament.]
God who is just is only worthy of our praise
is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?
has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, ‘You have done
to extol his work, which people have praised in song.
humanity has seen it; mortals gaze on it from afar.
The Creator is all-wise
and all-knowing – and just! So He is worthy of our praises – not
our complaints [might be inferred]. A call to see God rightly
and act accordingly.]
Having said that, the Creator is really beyond our understanding
great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years
is past finding out.
up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams;
pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.
Who can understand
how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?
See how he
scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea.
fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.
announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach.
The truth is, Elihu continues,
God is so great He is beyond our understanding. We might say today
we can observe how the earth works but ultimately it will always
be a mystery this side of heaven, why it works, why the
laws of nature work as they do and not some other way.]
Comments: By way of a recap, let's itemize the things
we said at the beginning of the chapter:
Elihu's goal is clear from the outset – to show that God is just
God, he explains, is the sovereign overseer of mankind [v.5-7]
because suffering usually has a reason, where it is to do with
sin, God explains that in order to bring us to repentance when
He then blesses us [v.8-11],
while ignorant rebellion results in death [v.12].
He expands on this in v.13,14,
but points out that the repenting righteous will be saved [v.15,16].
He then turns to Job and counsels him to act rightly in this respect
[v.17-21] and –
concludes that God who is supreme is worthy of our praise [v.22-25].
even if we cannot understand His greatness [v.26-33].