Summary: This is a study into Job chapter thirty four.
Job chapter thirty four could be outlined:
Job is charged (Job 34:1-9)
God is not unjust (Job 34:10-15)
Evidence of God’s justice (Job 34:16-30)
Elihu reproves Job (Job 34:31-37)
Elihu continues to speak.
1 Elihu further answered and said: 2 "Hear my words, you wise men; Give ear to me, you who have knowledge. 3 For the ear tests words As the palate tastes food. 4 Let us choose justice for ourselves; Let us know among ourselves what is good. 5 "For Job has said, ’I am righteous, But God has taken away my justice; 6 Should I lie concerning my right? My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’ 7 What man is like Job, Who drinks scorn like water, 8 Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity, And walks with wicked men? 9 For he has said, ’It profits a man nothing That he should delight in God.’ Job 34:1-9 (NKJV)
JOB IS CHARGED
In verse two Elihu is trying to get his hearers attention. One way to do that is by flattery. Look at what he calls his listeners:
1. Wise men.
2. Ones who have knowledge.
Verse three is a proverb. “Ears listen to words and absorb them – just like the tongue tastes food and desires it.” Good words tickle our ears. We like to hear good things about ourselves. How much better is it if we can hear words that lead to our advantage in life? Be careful in life – there is much information in life that does not lead to our advantage in Godly things. Who would go to a person for marriage counseling when that person has been divorced five times? Yet that is what is happening in our world today. We promote the perverse.
Let us be careful not to think that our ways are right – even if we are in the majority. If Moses had allowed the people to take a vote while they were in the wilderness – they never would have made it to the promise land - they would have returned to Egypt. We should choose justice for ourselves – but the only way to know justice is to follow the One who is just. We should choose that which is good – but the only way to do that is to follow the One who is completely good.
Elihu now states what he believes Job has claimed:
1. I am righteous.
2. God has taken away justice from me.
3. I will not lie in this matter.
4. There is no way to cure this situation.
5. I am righteous – in other words – I have not sinned.
In verses seven and eight Elihu says: “Who can listen to this stuff? Job is filling us with words that are foolish. He is not telling us the truth! Look – he needs to be put in the same category as those who sin openly against God. He holds hands with evil and wicked men. He is filling our ears with lies.”
In verse nine Elihu says: “Hasn’t Job told us – there in no profit in following God?”
Here are the accusations that Elihu is making against Job.
1. He is a liar
2. He is a sinner.
3. He keeps company with liars and sinners.
4. His words are completely false.
10 "Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to commit iniquity. 11 For He repays man according to his work, And makes man to find a reward according to his way. 12 Surely God will never do wickedly, Nor will the Almighty pervert justice. 13 Who gave Him charge over the earth? Or who appointed Him over the whole world? 14 If He should set His heart on it, If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, 15 All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust. Job 34:10-15 (NKJV)
GOD IS NOT UNJUST
Verse ten begins with the word – “therefore” – in other words because of what I have just said something is about to take place. Because of the arguments laid before you – listen to me. Elihu gives here two arguments:
1. God does and will not commit wickedness.
2. God will never sin or commit iniquity.
Why? – in verse eleven Elihu gives us the answer. Because God fairly pays back man for what he does. Men are rewarded or punished according to the decisions that they have made.
There is some truth in Elihu argument. Men do reap what they sow. But as has been pointed out throughout this study on Job – bad things happen to good people. We live in a fallen world that has been infected and affected by sin. Due to the fall of Adam we all are touched. But for the grace of God – no one could stand before the Father. God does deal out justice but let us never forget He also deals out mercy.