Job is still being called a liar and a sinner, now by this young Elihu. If you have endured being branded by a snap judgment you may be chafing at reading this endless ordeal. God trusted Job to pass the worst that Satan has to deliver. Insult may actually be worse than injury. if our words turn around to condemn us instead of our target we may be hanged on our own gallows as our old foe Haman above.
Furthermore Elihu answered and said, Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge. For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat. Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good. For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment. Job 34:1-5
Furthermore…and more and more and more. Elihu is still teaching his elders wisdom. He invites his friends to become judges and make their own choices about what is good. That seems to be a trait of evil, to invite others to fall into the same punishment. Satan is destined to fall into the lake of fire, and he wants to pull god’s precious humans in with him.
Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression. What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water? Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men. For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God. Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. Job 34: 6-10
Elihu asks if he should contradict what is true and thus wound himself with a lie. He asks who could compare to Job for accepting criticism for living as an evil man. Elihu claims that Job scorns God and suggests that Job is blaming God for his trials.
For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world? If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. Job 34: 11-15
There is a partial truth that God will not do evil, but Elihu is the one who claims this affliction is from God. Job doesn’t understand it, but he doesn’t point at God for blame. As Elihu says, God is able to destroy us all if he wishes, but this is not God’s work here.
If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words. Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands. In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.Job 34: 16-20
So Elihu says it is unwise to allow evil to rule, and that God will not allow evil to prosper either. Of course this is true, but God is the only one able to discern the heart of man and only he can judge. God does punish, but he is patient while Elihu is rushing to judgment.
For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God. He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed. Job 34: 21-25
Yes, Elihu, God does see the secrets of evil men. You however do not see inside the heart of Job, and God does see the evil in your heart! Elihu does see the opportunity to listen to his own voice though, and he goes on…and on…and on.
He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others; Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways: So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only: That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared. Job 34: 26-30
It is true that god will deliver vengeance it comes in his time, which is not always in the sight of others as Elihu claims. He paints God in a good light, but he cannot be cautious about painting his fellow man in an evil light.
Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more. Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest. Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me. Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom. Job 34: 31-35
Elihu sees wisdom in changing our ways when we are punished. If men do ask to be taught they might respond by turning around to do good. If we do what is right in our own eyes we may expect punishment. Elihu is claiming that Job would not take correction from his affliction, that he is in sin.
My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men. For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God. Job 34: 36-37
Elihu wishes that Job will be punished even to death for being a rebel against God. If he had our New Testament he might have better guidance in his decision making. This young man joined a public attack on his friend. His desire was to expose and punish Job, not to comfort or restore him. Yeshua taught Matthew a three step path to correction:
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: Matthew 18:15-17
This path allows one to investigate and get facts as a friend trying to protect one from sin and punishment. The subject is always present in every step of the investigation; no one is talking about him when he is absent. This is a path for the honest and kind person to follow. We should remember though that Elihu still has a day in which to be educated.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 1 Peter 3:18-20
As Yeshua died for us, he also preached to the Old Testament dead in (hell) prison. Some of those disobedient souls were able to accept Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah and they were redeemed from their sins. So Elihu got his chance for redemption later, while we have no such future redemption. We have this lesson to encourage us to take care before bringing any accusation to life. Get it right the first time.