Sunday – January 31, 2021
Word On Worship – Sunday – January 31, 2021
Elihu continued: “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf. I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my Maker. Be assured that my words are not false; one perfect in knowledge is with you.”
Elihu exemplifies one of the major reasons why we might not listen to what someone has to say about God. Young and obscure, Elihu presents a testimony that carries little weight among many intellectual greats. This may be one reason why God has employed farmers, shepherds, fishermen and even children (the child Samuel) as messengers of inspired truth. Heaven has a way of placing truth beyond intellectual pride. Yet even if God speaks to us through a little child, or perhaps a donkey, He always gives us enough evidence to discern His voice.
In the case of Elihu there is more than enough evidence to recognize this young man as heaven sent. He does not use the same words Job’s three friends did; accusing Job of secret sins or assuming that Job’s suffering proves his guilt (Job 32:14). Elihu’s approach is identical to God’s. They both assert that, at times, Job had spoken without wisdom and knowledge (Job 34:35, 35:16, 38:2). Both affirm that Job has sought to “rebuke God,” “annul His judgment” and “condemn” Him; that Job had “justified himself rather than God” (Job 32:2, 40:2, 8). Elihu also introduces, in chapter 37, the same mysteries that God picks up with in chapter 38, the marvels of creation. We should also remember that while God rebukes Job’s three friends, He does not rebuke Elihu or group him with the other three (Job 42:7).
Elihu claims to be filled with the spirit of God and to speak on God’s behalf, which is proved true when we compare his words with God’s as noted in the previous references (Job 32:8, 36:2-3). Elihu is also never rebuked by Job, like his three friends were. Even when Job is given opportunity to speak, Elihu does not hear a cross word from him (Job 33:5). In addition, Job repents of the very mistake both Elihu and God had brought to his attention—speaking words without knowledge (Job 42:3). Elihu’s picture of God is definitely different from the three friends.
Job himself seems impressed with the compassionate entreaty of this young man, for he does not answer him. The empathy and sincerity of Elihu, his words of correction mingled with love, were perhaps a balm to Job compared to the accusations of the others. Some of this young man’s thoughts may even remind Job of his own arguments and the light that had brought hope to his own soul. Elihu’s picture of God is definitely different from the three friends. How does Job respond to the stern rebukes from God? He repents, affirming not only the words of God and Elihu, but also reminding us why Job was called a “blameless” man in the first place (Job 1:1).