We are in the Wisdom Stream today reading from the Tree of Life Version. Young Elihu shares his thoughts on Job’s predicament.
Elihu continues speaking and keeeeps speaking for five chapters straight. This is the center of the verbose speech today (33-35) that goes from 32-36. Remember, he is young (Job 32:6) so he can’t be accused of being and hardened by life. His speech does make for an introduction to God’s words that end all argument sytarting in 38. But he can be labeled “green”, and inexperienced. There are points of his long talk that may have some merit. He is right to be angry at the three who have been accusing Job of many things for months. But his turning on Job appears uncalled for. Elihu’s words may be right here and there. Yet how can he accuse Job of anything that doesn’t indict himself? God Himself speaks shortly after Elihu and declares that Elihu doesn’t know much of anything; Job 38:2
Nonetheless, this is the sophomoric way of the young.
Elihu ends up not getting any brunt of God’s anger the way Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar do. Perhaps it is this way because Elihu is young. And since he is young, his words should be assessed accordingly. Again, Elihu has some merit but too much of the things he says should not be articulated to a man who is still suffering unspeakably: Job needs a ministry of presence, encouragement and comfort. Elihu provides very little.
Job 33:3-4 my heart is upright and made by the Spirit – (this self-statement is tiresome)
33:5 – answer me, answer to me (what makes Elihu the authoritative Judge?)
33:12 “…I tell you…you are not right.” (so what makes Elihu right?)
33:19-30 Elihu talks about suffering and redemption and he just doesn’t know personally what he is saying. It is better left unsaid.
33:31-33 As per Elihu, Job needs to listen, be quiet and Elihu will teach him (oh, please…)
34:1,10,16 Elihu keeps telling the wise to listen to him. (because Elihu is wiser?)
34:36-37 Elihu says Job speaks wicked, is rebellious and scornful (watch you mouth kiddo!)
ch. 35 Elihu is just plain wrong all over the place. The sad thing is that he isn’t done yet.
“Lord, the Bible is full of examples of what not to be like. Elihu, God bless him, is one of them. Let us use words that are fitly spoken, soothing and healing. Thank you for the Spirit promptings that urge us to speak for you. Amen”