Summary: This is a study into Job chapter thirty five.
Job chapter thirty five could be outlined:
Elihu questions Job about righteousness (Job 35:1-7)
Wickedness affects man (Job 35:8-9)
Job’s lack of understanding (Job 35:10-16)
Elihu continues to speak.
1 Moreover Elihu answered and said: 2 "Do you think this is right? Do you say, ’My righteousness is more than God’s’? 3 For you say, ’What advantage will it be to You? What profit shall I have, more than if I had sinned?’ 4 "I will answer you, And your companions with you. 5 Look to the heavens and see; And behold the clouds-- They are higher than you. 6 If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? 7 If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Job 35:1-7 (NKJV)
ELIHU QUESTIONS JOB ABOUT RIGHTEOUSNESS
Here again Elihu asks Job a series of questions:
1. Job do you think you are right in all that you have said?
2. Job do you think your righteousness is more than God’s?
3. Job you ask, “What advantage is there in serving God?”
4. Job you ask, “Is there more advantage to me if I sin or not sin?”
The above questions are found in verses two and three. Elihu now prepares to answer – he says in verse four that he will answer Job and Job’s companions (sinners – anyone who asks the same questions).
In verses five through seven Elihu begins his answer to Job.
“Look to the heavens. Do you see the clouds? Have you had any influence on them by your actions? Have you changed them in any way by what you are doing? Are they not higher than you? If you sin – do you think that you can change God in any way? You can’t even change the clouds. Even if you multiply your sins – does that change God’s nature in any way? If you are righteous – does that change God’s nature? Does He become more pure or holy by your actions? What can you hand Him that will make Him better off?”
God is pure and holy. Our actions do not affect His purity or His holiness in any way. We can not touch that. We do not have the ability or the power to change His nature. However, we live in a world where everything has been affected by sin. Everything that our eyes have seen has been affected by sin. Things rust, wear out and decay in this world because the world has been affected by sin. Things break – including relationships. Things fall apart – things die. But the hope that we have is that someday this is to change:
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 21:4-5 (NKJV)
Elihu continues to speak:
8 Your wickedness affects a man such as you, And your righteousness a son of man. 9 "Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out; They cry out for help because of the arm of the mighty. Job 35:8-9 (NKJV)
WICKEDNESS AFFECTS MAN
As I have pointed out above – our wickedness does not affect the holiness of God in any way. We can not change His nature. However, your wickedness affects man and so does your righteousness. This is what we are told in verse eight. The Contemporary English Translation says: “The evil or good you do only affects other humans.” There is a great truth found here. No one lives in isolation. No one lives without influencing others. Even if you live as a hermit – or in as much isolation as possible and another human being knows about it – you have an impact on another. It may be that they have thought of your life style. It may be that they have thought that you are crazy or that they admire your attempts – but even by their thinking of you – you have had an impact on their lives.
No man is an island. No man stands alone. God has said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” We are our brother’s keeper. We influence others in ways that we can not image. What of these proverbs:
“A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.” Proverbs 15:1 (HCSB)
“A word spoken at the right time is like golden apples on a silver tray.” Proverbs 25:11 (HCSB)
If words have such an impact on the lives of others – what of our actions? Your wickedness affects those around you – but so does your righteousness. People are always looking at your actions. They are influenced by what you say and what you do. Verse nine drives this point home: “Because of the multitude of your sins – people cry out. They cry to the Almighty asking – ‘How can this be?’”