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WINDS OF CHANGE

Elihu is still trying to beat Job into submission with lies.  He presents himself as God’s spokesman.  God didn’t ask for his help though.

Elihu also proceeded, and said,  Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.  I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.  For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.  Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.  Job 36: 1-5

Suffer me a little?  Job has suffered from him a lot!  Elihu is going to fetch knowledge from afar…far out!  He is right about God being righteous though.

He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.  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.  And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;  Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.  He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.  Job 36: 6-10

As Elihu says God has judged evil and promoted the faithful, but in his own time.  We do not have evidence of other’s failure just because they are enduring a trial.  And evil men do have fine things for a season.  The young man may be a bit impatient to see the end of things come out as promised.

If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.  But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.  But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.  They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.  He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression. Job 36: 11-15

Elihu expects all to be rewarded for their deeds while hypocrites will be punished.  He clings to this conviction that judgment is rendered in life, and that it is not withheld.  Faith can be a weapon to discourage the righteous if affliction is identified as a badge of sin.

Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.  But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.  Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.  Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.  Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place. Job 36: 16-20

To Elihu God would have delivered Job from punishment if he were innocent.  But Elihu speaks boldly to proclaim that Job is a sinner deserving punishment from God.  He warns Job to repent because God will not respect his wealth.

Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.  Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?  Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?  Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.  Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off. Job 36: 21-25

Elihu warns Job not to favor his sin because God is showing his punishment for this.  Our lives and works represent the Lord to the world around us.  The accusations of Elihu do not have basis in fact, so he does not slow down to consider a possibility of his error.  By attempting to do God’s role as judge Elihu has become the hypocrite that he has proclaimed doom on.  He is beginning to speak of things that might wake him to his error.

Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.  For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:  Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.  Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea. Job 36: 26-30

God makes the drops of water that become rain.  Rain falls on man and who can understand the clouds or the noise of thunder?  Elihu is talking about rain, is it because the weather is changing around them?

For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.  With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.  The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour. Job 36: 31-33

Elihu declares that God uses the rain to judge man as in Noah’s day.  He talks about the clouds that cover the light even as they are beginning to swirl around them.  He remarks on the sound of the thunder which would concern cattle and man alike.

Does it occur to Elihu that his lesson is getting some added drama from above?  Is he so absorbed in hearing his own voice that he does not consider the danger to himself of the growing lightening?  There are times when the zeal of a warrior may take one beyond the safety of his own lines.  God is beginning to issue a warning and correction for Elihu even as he has suggested that Job was experiencing.

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