Young Elihu has been railing against Job for a while. Now he would read Job’s mind, and challenge his motives. When our friends venture inside our thoughts they are attempting to claim prophesy, which can be dangerous.
Elihu spake moreover, and said, Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s? For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin? I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee. Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou. Job 35:1-5
So Elihu suggests that Job considers himself more moral than God. He further (falsely) claims that Job has rejected correction from sin.
If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man. By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty Job 35:6-9
If you sin or obey how does it hurt or help God? Elihu accuses Job of causing harm to others, which he has not done. Job already searched his heart for the sin that his friends assume that he must have.
But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night; Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it. Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him. Job 35:10-14
Elihu says that God doesn’t answer because of the evil in Job’s heart. He tells Job to trust God, even while he is taking God’s judgment role on himself.
But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity: Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge. Job 35:15-16
Now Elihu says that because Job does not trust God he is talking foolishness. Have you ever endured a sermon like this? You know where you are with God, and it is tiring to hear a rant about a sin that is not part of your life. There are times when God can give a target for prayer, but it should not sound like the lying rant of Elihu. A false prophet is a curse to the church.
Warnings about sin that is in your life leaves you a time and place to repent. Some warnings may be a premonition of bad things like a death or other hurt. But those at least offer you knowledge that God joined you for your comfort and let you know that you are not alone. A bad message from a good messenger offers you the courage of God walking with you in your trial. A bad message from a bad messenger is marked by disobedience and evident sin.
I remember when two televangelists began exchanging accusations of sin on their television shows. They both appeared on television with their lawyers, and that is why I knew that they were both guilty. As a baby Christian I had read the instructions that tell us not to take a brother to court:
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. 1 Corinthians 6: 1-7
If either of these “leaders” were obedient to Christ, they would not need a lawyer to protect their interests. In fact they would be working to restore the fallen brother quietly out of the public eye if possible. I left following these fools immediately, and I was not surprised to see them both fall in disgrace. You need not be a giant of theology to discern sin.
So the public ridicule of Job has all the earmarks of a lynch mob, not a godly comforting. Elihu is not done yet, but he will begin to show signs of his pending failure soon.