Summary: This is a study into Job chapter thirty six.
Job 36 could be outlined:
Elihu Asks For Job’s Attention (Job 36:1-4)
God’s Just Dealings With Men (Job 36:5-15)
Elihu Advises Job (Job 36:16-23)
God’s Wonderful Works Of Creation (Job 36:24-33)
Elihu continues to speak:
1 Elihu also proceeded and said: 2 "Bear with me a little, and I will show you That there are yet words to speak on God’s behalf. 3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker. 4 For truly my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you. Job 36:1-4 (NKJV)
ELIHU ASKS FOR JOB’S ATTENTION
In verse two Elihu tells Job that he is speaking on God’s behalf. Elihu is making himself to be a spokesperson for God. In other words he is teaching and preaching what he believes God would tell Job – if He would speak up. We do this too when we teach and preach. We teach and preach what we understand of God – what He has revealed to us. One of the big problems is that we all have a limited understanding of God. Who can understand all of God? There is none. Our understanding of God comes from many places – creation, direct revelations (i.e. dreams and visions), the Bible and the Word made flesh – Jesus. God has revealed and continues to reveal Himself in many ways – of course the clearest of these is in Christ Jesus as we see Him through the Bible. God’s word – the Bible – is there to lead us to His Living Word – Jesus Christ. As we handle the scriptures let us do so with wisdom and reverence. Let us be careful not to read more into the scripture than is there. Let us not limit God’s Word by not understanding what it says – but also don’t read something into it that is not there. Remember the purpose of the scriptures is to lead us to Christ – this fact is found in John chapter five:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39 (NKJV)
The scriptures are a testimony of Christ – for it is in Him that we have eternal life. The Bible is to point us to Him.
In verses three and four Elihu is telling Job that he will gather wisdom from a distant place – in other words he will search out an answer for Job. He will not just take the first option that comes along. He will seek out the righteousness of God in what he says. He will have great respect and awe for God. He will speak no falsehood. He will not speak a lie. Then Elihu makes a bold statement: One who is perfect in knowledge is with you. Most commentaries agree that Elihu is speaking of himself. Look at a couple other translations of this verse:
(DRB) “For indeed my words are without a lie, and perfect knowledge shall be proved to thee. “
(CEV) “You can rest assured that what I say is true.”
(GNB) “Nothing I say to you is false; you see before you a truly wise man.”
(MSG) “Trust me, I’m giving you undiluted truth; believe me, I know these things inside and out.”
Elihu is making some bold claims – but remember he is trying to get Job’s undivided attention.
5 "Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. 6 He does not preserve the life of the wicked, But gives justice to the oppressed. 7 He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But they are on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, And they are exalted. 8 And if they are bound in fetters, Held in the cords of affliction, 9 Then He tells them their work and their transgressions-- That they have acted defiantly. 10 He also opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they turn from iniquity. 11 If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures. 12 But if they do not obey, They shall perish by the sword, And they shall die without knowledge. 13 "But the hypocrites in heart store up wrath; They do not cry for help when He binds them. 14 They die in youth, And their life ends among the perverted persons. 15 He delivers the poor in their affliction, And opens their ears in oppression. Job 36:5-15 (NKJV)
GOD’S JUST DEALINGS WITH MEN
In this section Elihu is presenting his argument that punishes the wicked and that He lifts up the righteous. Let’s look at his arguments:
In verse five Elihu tells us that God mighty twice. He has strength and understanding. He does not pervert His justice because He despises no one. The Contemporary English Version says: