18–24 October 2015.
Job’s three friends constantly told him that he was an unrighteous person who deserved God’s punishment. But Job knew that he was innocent. This is why he dreams of taking God to court and proving that God is unjust. The young and foolish Elihu had taken it on himself to act as God’s defence attorney. So over the last few chapters we have seen Elihu’s defence of God, and now Elihu comes to his closing argument.
We saw before that Elihu is angry and foolish, knowing little but thinking he has all life’s answers! In 36:4 he arrogantly claimed to have perfect knowledge! In his foolish pride he thinks he can speak for God, represent God, and even be the almighty and eternal God’s defender.
To defend God, Elihu argues two things. First, he argues that God uses suffering to teach sinners a lesson, and so Job should listen to God’s teachings. Second, Elihu argues that God is so great, he wouldn’t bother to answer the accusations of human beings like Job. In chapter 37, Elihu makes fun of Job for wanting God to listen to him. For Elihu, God is the great Creator, so why should God care what Job says? For Elihu, the Creator doesn’t need to answer anybody’s questions. But Elihu is so foolish, he doesn’t realize that he contradicts himself. All through chapter 37, Elihu argues that simple human beings can’t understand God’s mysterious ways. But if that’s true, how can Elihu know that God uses suffering to teach sinners?
And Elihu argues that God would never waste his time answering Job – only then to have God himself immediately turn up in the next verses to answer Job!
Elihu had thought that the great God doesn’t care about human beings and their accusations. But God does care! Even more, in Christ we see that God answers those worries. Even though we can never understand suffering, Christ gives us the hope that one day God will put all things right, healing all suffering and wiping away all tears. Yes God is the great Creator of all things, but he still loves us and cares for us. And he does answer us when we call out to him.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis