Summary: This is a study into Job chapter thirty three.
Job 33 could be outlined -
Elihu wants to speak to Job (Job 33:1-7)
Elihu blames Job (Job 33:8-12)
God’s desire to save mankind (Job 33:13-18)
God’s messenger (Job 33:19-30)
Elihu wants Job’s undivided attention (Job 33:31-33)
In this chapter Elihu will continue his argument that Job is not righteous before God – that Job is being punished because of some sin in his life.
1 "But please, Job, hear my speech, And listen to all my words. 2 Now, I open my mouth; My tongue speaks in my mouth. 3 My words come from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge. 4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 5 If you can answer me, Set your words in order before me; Take your stand. 6 Truly I am as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay. 7 Surely no fear of me will terrify you, Nor will my hand be heavy on you. Job 33:1-7 (NKJV)
ELIHU WANTS TO SPEAK TO JOB
In verses one and two Elihu asks Job to listen to what he says.
In verse three Elihu says that his words “come from an upright heart.” Is there such a thing? Is the heart of man pure and upright? The Genesis flood came because the heart of man was not pure:
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5 (ESV)
“The intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Genesis 8:21 (ESV)
We all have a tainted heart – even if we think our thoughts are pure and holy – they have been affected by sin. We live in a fallen world that is bent and twisted. Let us be careful therefore not to get too attached to this world – where mouth and rust will consume that which is material. Let us put our hope in heaven where judgment will be pure and holy.
Not only does Elihu claim to have an upright heart – he also claims to have “pure knowledge”. Again I ask – can a man have such a thing? All of man’s knowledge is limited. All of man’s knowledge has been affected by the world in which he lives. Again we have – in this world been affected by sin. Only God is pure – only God is holy. The sin of man has not touched the purity or holiness of God’s character in any way. He remains pure – even in the fall of mankind. God dwells in heaven not on earth. The earth – all of creation has been affected – infected – by the fall of man. We live in a world where we have seen and known no difference – but:
“I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:3-5 (ESV)
In verse four Elihu again appeals to Job to listen to him. “God’s Spirit has made him. The breath of God gives him life.” Every human can make this claim. We are all on level ground when it comes to this fact. God breathed life into man – in a real sense He still does.
In verse five the NASV says:
“Refute me if you can; Array yourselves before me, take your stand.” Job 33:5 (NASV)
In other words; “Get your arguments ready – I am about to let you have it. Take your stand – I’ve listened to the whole debate – now I’m ready to let you have it.”
The NKJV in the first part of verse six makes it sound like Elihu is better than Job when he says that he is Job’s “spokesman before God.” But if you look at most translations they give the impression that Elihu is saying that Job and he are equal – both of them have been made out of “clay”. The Message Bible says:
“Look, I’m human—no better than you; we’re both made of the same kind of mud.” Job 33:6 (MSG)
Elihu goes on to say in verse seven: “Because we are equal – you don’t have to fear me. With my words – I will not put much pressure on you.”
8 "Surely you have spoken in my hearing, And I have heard the sound of your words, saying, 9 ’I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me. 10 Yet He finds occasions against me, He counts me as His enemy; 11 He puts my feet in the stocks, He watches all my paths.’ 12 "Look, in this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is greater than man. Job 33:8-12 (NKJV)