Job 34… the saga continues. Elihu’s rebuke of Job continues. He is calling him out, saying that God has given him exactly what he deserved. As Job has sought to maintain his innocence he is being continually called out. Elihu is calling out Job for his arrogance while operating out of an arrogant mindset. As you look through the text you see Elihu is calling Job out for his speech (v. 7-10) because in Elihu’s mind it is an attack on God Himself as God repays according to someone’s deeds (v. 11-12). There was no framework in his mindset for a godly person who was suffering… suffering was only reserved for the evil people. You can read this all throughout the chapter culminating when he told Job he “deserved the maximum penalty” (v. 36, NLT).
This has slim tracings of what we call the “prosperity gospel” which says the more you do for God, the more money you give, the better you are the better life you will live. This perverts the gospel. It discounts the suffering of our Savior who was perfect, is a slap in the face to suffering Christians all around the world, and is used for material gain by false teachers here in the States. Jesus Himself said we will have suffering. Peter wrote about how it purifies us (1 Peter 1:5-9) and James wrote about how it “completes us” (James 1:2-4). We must realize sometimes suffering, as we see it, is truly an instrument of God to purify and complete us. Our sin can bring suffering but this is not always the reason for suffering.
Elihu’s theology was skewed and as a result he did not counsel a brother in need well. This is why we must spend good time in the Word of God, ask hard questions, seek God’s face (Psalm 27:9-10), and understand what God says on things. Elihu’s theology was based in arrogance and entitlement… He was deserving, just a like all of us, of the suffering Job was enduring. It was by God’s grace he did not have to endure it but he used his theology not to comfort Job but to make separation between them and elevate himself over Job. This is subtle, but wrong, and we must avoid doing this. Entitlement is all around us. We must not let it have a place in our theology!
Pray for the countless Christians all around the world today who are suffering and ask God to strengthen them for His sake.
By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate: College