Today you should read: Job 36
This is the final time one of Job’s friends gives him advice about why all these things are happening to him. Elihu gives Job a long discourse on how God treats the wicked and the righteous and on God’s power and might. Elihu says things that are mostly true but he makes two big mistakes in this passage.
1. Elihu takes pride in his knowledge of God
In 1 Corinthians 8:1 Paul, in talking about knowledge, makes the statement (in the NIV) that “knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” In all major English versions of the Bible the idea that is portrayed is this:
Knowledge without love equals pride
Elihu is exhibiting no real love for his friend but rather desires to show off his knowledge of God. God’s desire for us is that our knowledge of Him results in a deeper love for Him and for people. When knowledge is our end goal we lose sight of what God really wants for us.
2. Elihu puts God in a box
We have to be careful to say that God can or can’t do something or that God would never do or not do something when it is not explicit in scripture. We also have to be careful to assume things about God and about our situation in life. We can’t always assume that because hard trials are in our life that we have sinned. That is the easy way out because all we have to do is repent and it all goes away. The truth is trials can come for a variety of reasons. They come because of our sin or someone else’s sin. They can come for our sanctification. They can even come just because, as is the case for Job. Elihu also tells Job that God gives those who are in trouble the reason why they are in trouble. This, as we will see in the end of Job when God answers, is not always true. Job asks time and again why he is dealing with all this and God never answers him on that question. God does not play by our rules and God is not obligated to respond to us. We have to remember that, even in our trials, God deserves and expects our reverence. Job and his friends lost that and God responds in just a few chapters and sets them straight because God does not fit in our box.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd