Yes, Elihu was younger than Job. He admits such in Job 32:4. Yet this is no deterrent to his accusatory speech, nearly abusive words! For example, straight to Job’s face: “Elihu spake moreover, and said, Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, MY RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MORE THAN GOD’S?” Wow, Job 35:1-2, in the King James Version.
Just one little problem.
JOB NEVER CLAIMED THAT HE WAS MORE RIGHTEOUS THAN GOD!
He may have gone too far in defending his integrity, Job. But he never lifted himself above God! That would have been blasphemy!
So I am prepared to say (yet again) that Elihu is out of line here!
Paul, many years later than Job, codified this Bible principle. This element of common sense, really. “REBUKE NOT AN ELDER, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1
(It is true that later in the Book God Himself corrects Job about being a little too staunch in defending his pristine integrity. Here in Job 40:8 … “Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?” But God correcting His Own child … is quite different than a young man smarting off to an older man!) Still I say, Job never called himself (his righteousness) better (or more) than God’s Perfect Righteousness!
Furthermore in Job 35 Elihu thinks Job just doesn’t matter to God anyway. In essence, God is so great than no one person can concern Him, the Almighty! Here are his words again: “Look unto the heavens(Job), and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou. If thou sinnest, what doest thou against Him? Or if thy transgressions (Job) be multiplied, what doest thou unto Him? If thou be righteous, what givest thou Him? Or what receiveth He of thine hand?” Job 35:5-7, God being “too big” to care! A philosophy with which I disagree.
Yes, God is above all.
He is perfect in Himself!
But folks, God has a lot of credence invested in Job!
He (the Lord) has challenged the Satan himself over Job’s “faith.”
“He will NOT curse Me,” believed God!
Job was NOT incidental to the Lord God in Heaven!
By the way, neither are you, my friend.
Listen to Isaiah a second. When Israel hurt … God hurt right along with them! “In all their (the Jews) affliction He (the Lord) was afflicted, and the angel of His Presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9, amazing, thrilling too!
Lastly today, as Job 35 ends, Elihu lobs one more pile of mud at Job. “Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.”
All Job has said, “vanity?”
So thinks Elihu.
God did not agree though! Job 42:7 … “The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for YE HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF ME THE THING THAT IS RIGHT, AS MY SERVANT JOB HATH.”
And as far as Job “multiplying words without knowledge,” Elihu is again out of order saying such. (It’s true that God later says something similar, with Job being a very humble student at the His Feet. But God is omniscient, folks! Plus, I recall the Devil quoting the Almighty, during the Temptation of Jesus!)
Three times … in this short chapter, Job 35, Elihu errs in his judgment.
While he pitilessly “piles on” Job, even after Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar have just done so. How much can one man take?
It’s true in baseball, but maybe not in theology … three “strikes” and you’re “out.” But Elihu just keeps on talking … and talking … and talking.
More tomorrow, the Lord willing.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell