Job 34:24

 

Elihu is still speaking, and Elihu says in Job 34:24-37, “He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.[25] Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.[26] He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;[27] Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:[28] So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.[29] When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:[30] That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.[31] Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:[32] That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.[33] Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.[34] Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.[35] Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.[36] My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.[37] For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against GodElihu starts off in these verses by talking about God destroying people. If you look at life, there are people whose lives get destroyed. Life is fragile, and anyone could lose everything like Job did. It happens. These friends of Job are also thinking about God being all-powerful. There are thinking that God causes all of these destructions to take place. And then they are thinking that if God causes such destructions, that the people must have deserved to be destroyed. It must be because of their sins, and God is punishing them for their sins. Of course, that is faulty logic. Jesus suffered and He did not sin. God grants to both man and devil a great deal of free will. This is a truth that Job’s friends just were not aware of: in the world that we live in, some people suffer but they did not do anything to deserve those sufferings.

 

In verse 25 when Elihu says that God “knoweth their works,” Elihu is talking about the evil works of evil people. Elihu is implying that Job is among them. In verse 26 when Elihu says that God “striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others,” Elihu is saying that is why Job was sticken. In verse 28 when Elihu says, “So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted,” Elihu is saying that Job was harming others: the poor and the afflicted, and that is why God punished Job. In verse 30 Elihu calls Job a “hypocrite.” In verses 31 and 32 Elihu is telling Job that Job needs to repent of his sins: “Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:[32] That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.” In verse 35 Elihu makes it very clear what he is saying: “Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.” Elihu has a common problem that many people have who get involved in religion: they think they know more than they really do, and they end up judging others instead of loving and caring about others.   

 

Elihu is still speaking, and Elihu says in Job 35:1-16, “Elihu spake moreover, and said,[2] Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God's?[3] For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?[4] I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.[5] Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.[6] If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?[7] If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?[8] Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.[9] By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.[10] But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;[11] Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?[12] There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.[13] Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.[14] Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.[15] But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:[16] Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledgeElihu starts off these verses by claiming that Job said certain things, but Elihu’s imnterpretation of what Job said just is not true. Elihu makes the mistake that self-righteous and judgmental people make: assuming that they know what someone else is thinking and assuming their interpretation of what someone said is correct. There is a reason that Jesus said in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not that ye be not judged

 

In verse 2 Elihu said that Job said, “My righteousness is more than God's.” That is not true. Job only stated that he did not know why he was suffering and that Job knew his sufferings were not because of sin. In verse 3 Elihu said that Job said, “What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?” That is not true. In reference to Job’s sufferings, Job was only making the point that there were no sins to repent of in regards to his sufferings. We are all sinners, but if something bad happens to you, and you know that it is not a punishment from God, are you going to agree with others who are telling you that it must be a punishment from God? Of course not.

 

In verses 4 through 12 Elihu is stating that when people are oppressed and they call upon God, that God hears their cry and takes care of them. For example, Elihu says in verse 10 that God “giveth songs in the night.” It is true that God can give songs in the night, but Elihu is implying that Job cannot be trusting in God or God would have relieved Job’s sufferings and taken care of Job. Elihu is reasoning as if Elihu were God. Elihu did not know God’s purposes for the sufferings that God allowed to come into Job’s life. We know because we have read the first two chapters of the book of Job, but Elihu did not know. There are things that you do not know about others. You do not know what God is thinking about in regards to all the details of someone else’s life. Do not judge. In other words do not have a harsh and condemning attitude toward others. Do not be like Elihu or Job’s other three “friends.”

 

In verse 14 Elihu said to Job, “trust thou in him.” This is another judgmental statement because Elihu is implying that Job is not trusting in God. In verse 15 Elihu said that God “visited in his anger.” Once again Elihu is assuming that what happened to Job was a result of God’s anger against sin in Job’s life. Elihu was wrong.

 

The Bible says in Job 35:1-12, “Elihu also proceeded, and said,[2] Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.[3] I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.[4] For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.[5] Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.[6] He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.[7] He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.[8] And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;[9] Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.[10] He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.[11] If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.[12] But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge Elihu starts this passage with stating how wise he is and how much he is sure that his knowledge comes from God. That is why he says in verse 2, “I have yet to speak on God's behalf.” Elihu says in verse 3, “I will fetch my knowledge from afar.” And he says in verse 4, “For truly my words shall not be false.” And then Elihu goes back to his theme that God blesses those who are doing right and punishes those who are doing wrong. For example, Elihu says in verse 7, “He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.” Elihu is implying that Job is not one of “the righteous.” In verse 11 Elihu makes very clear the point that he is making: “If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.” In other words according to Elihu, Job is not obeying and serving God because if Job was, then Job would be prospering and not suffering. There are people that teach the same falsehood today. It is called the gospel of prosperity, and it is not true.

 

Elihu continues speaking and he says in Job 35:13-16, “Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.[14] Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.[15] But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:[16] Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledgeElihu continues to criticize and condemn Job. In verse 13 Elihu says that Job is speaking “vanity.” In verse 14 Elihu is implying that Job is not trusting in God because Elihu says to Job, “trust thou in him.” In verse 15 Elihu is saying that because Job is not trusting in God that God “hath visited in his anger.” And then once again the young man Elihu concludes that Job does not know anything. Elihu says in verse 16, “Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.”

 

The Bible says in Job 36:1-5, “Elihu also proceeded, and said,[2] Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.[3] I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.[4] For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.[5] Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.” This is another group of Bible verses where Elihu is talking about how smart he is, and that all of his wisdom comes from God. Elihu is a good example of why no one should praise themselves. In verse 2 Elihu says, “I have yet to speak on God's behalf.” In verse 3 Elihu talks about “my knowledge” and “my Maker.” In verse 4 Elihu talks about “my words.” A lot of people make the mistake that Elihu made. They learn a few things that are true, but they assume that everything that they think is true. They stop learning because they think they have all the answers. When someone comes along who knows more than they do, they are not able to learn. They do not have a thirst to learn because they think they already know. They are incapable of learning because they have become proud and arrogant. Jesus said, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” That is true of the Gospel. That is true of any teaching of the Bible from the very first teaching about the creation in Genesis to the very last teaching in Revelation about the return of Christ. If you think you already have all the answers, then you will not hear what the Spirit is saying to you.

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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