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                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

                       Young Elihu Speaks (32-37)

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION

1) To examine Elihu's perspective in the debate regarding Job's
   suffering

2) To notice how Elihu appears to prepare Job for what the Lord will
   have to say

SUMMARY

We are now introduced to a new voice in this discussion.  Having
remained silent up to this point because of his youth, Elihu now
speaks.  Angry with Job justifying himself rather than God, and by the
inability of Job's friends to provide an answer, Elihu feels compelled
to speak (32:1-33:7).  He takes issue with Job's claim of innocence
while charging God with counting him as His enemy.  He proposes that
God often uses various means to keep man from death ("the Pit"),
including chastening with pain.  Therefore Job should be looking at
suffering as a disciplinary measure from a loving God, not as a
punitive measure from one's enemy (33:8-33).

The bulk of Elihu's speech then focuses on the justice of God, which
Elihu feels Job has maligned.  Elihu charges Job with adding to his sin
by multiplying words against God without knowledge (34:1-35:16).  He
concludes his speech with an effort to speak on God's behalf and by
ascribing righteousness to the Almighty.  This he does by reviewing
God's justice and majesty.  The former as seen in His dealings with
man, the latter as seen in His dealings in nature.  With an admonition
for Job to stand still and consider the wondrous works of God, Elihu
seems to be preparing Job for what is about to follow (36:1-37:24).

OUTLINE

I. ELIHU EXPRESSES HIS DESIRE TO SPEAK (32:1-33:7)

   A. FOR HE IS ANGRY (32:1-5)
      1. When Job's three friends are silent, Elihu's wrath is aroused
         (32:1-2a)
         a. They ceased answering Job because he still considered
            himself righteous
         b. Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram
            (cf. Gen 22:20-21), is now ready to speak
      2. He is angry at both Job and his three friends (32:2b-5)
         a. At Job, because he justified himself rather than God
         b. At his friends, because they provided no real answer and
            yet condemned Job
         c. He had waited to speak because of his youth, but the
            silence from the three men made him angry

   B. FOR WISDOM IS NOT LIMITED TO THE AGED (32:6-14)
      1. He held off speaking earlier, because of his youth (32:6-7)
         a. The age difference had made him afraid to speak
         b. He believed that age should speak, for it should teach
            wisdom
      2. But aged men are not always wise (32:8-9)
         a. The breath of the Almighty (i.e., the Spirit) also gives
            man understanding
         b. Age alone does not guarantee wisdom and understanding of
            justice
      3. Therefore he will declare his own opinion (32:10-14)
         a. For he has carefully listened to their reasoning
         b. Yet they have not convinced Job or answered his words

   C. FOR HE IS COMPELLED (32:15-22)
      1. By their silence (32:15-17)
         a. They are dismayed, and words escape them
         b. He has waited because they did not speak
         c. Therefore he will have his say
      2. By the spirit within him (32:18-20)
         a. His belly is like wine ready to burst the wineskins
         b. He must speak to find relief
      3. By his desire to be impartial (32:21-22)
         a. His prayer is to show partiality to no one
         b. He does not know how to flatter, for fear that his Maker
            would take him away

   D. FOR HE BELIEVES HE CAN HELP JOB (33:1-7)
      1. He speaks pure knowledge from an upright heart (33:1-3)
         a. He pleads with Job to listen to what he says
         b. His words are sincere, and his knowledge is pure
      2. He can be as Job's spokesman before God (33:4-7; cf. 13:20-22)
         a. He was created by the Spirit of God, let Job see if he can
            answer him
         b. Job does not need to fear him, for he too has been formed
            out of clay

II. ELIHU'S RESPONSE TO JOB (33:8-37:24)

   A. GOD IS GRACIOUS (33:8-33)
      1. Job, you are wrong in charging God as your enemy (33:8-13)
         a. Elihu has heard Job profess his innocence while counting
            God as his enemy
         b. This is not right, for God is greater than man and not
            accountable to man
      2. God uses various ways to speak to man (33:14-28)
         a. Even though man may not heed what God is saying
         b. Such as dreams or visions, to turn man back
         c. Such as chastening him with pain
         d. Such as special messengers
            1) Sent to deliver him from the Pit
            2) Sent to restore him back to God
      3. God's purpose is disciplinary, not simply punitive (33:29-33)
         a. Done to direct man away from the Pit
         b. Done to enlighten man with the light of life
         c. Therefore Job should listen to one as Elihu to teach him
            wisdom

   B. GOD IS JUST (34:1-35:16)
      1. Elihu proclaims God's justice (34:1-37)
         a. He calls upon Job and his friends to listen to him
         b. He rebukes Job
            1) For charging God of taking away his justice
            2) For saying that it does not profit man to delight in God
         c. He proclaims that God is righteous and just in His dealings
            with man
            1) Far be it from God to do wickedness or pervert justice
            2) In His power God shows no partiality, but repays man
               according to his works
         d. He charges Job with sinning by how he spoken against God
      2. Elihu condemns Job's reasoning (35:1-16)
         a. He reproves Job for thinking righteousness does not profit
            one
         b. He claims that God is too great to be manipulated by man's
            little deeds
         c. He contends that God may not respond to cries for help
            because of man's pride
         d. He counsels Job to be patient and wait for God's justice,
            for Job has been speaking prematurely and foolishly

   C. GOD IS GREAT (36:1-37:24)
      1. Elihu proclaims God's goodness (36:1-23)
         a. Asking Job to bear with him as he ascribes righteousness to
            God
         b. Claiming that God may use affliction to draw the righteous
            to Himself
         c. Job needs to take heed, for he has begun to act like the
            hypocrites
      2. Elihu proclaims God's majesty (36:24-37:24)
         a. God's greatness is beyond comprehension, as seen in the
            rain cycle
         b. God's greatness is seen in the thunder, snow, and rain
         c. In view of such greatness, what can man teach God?

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION

1) Why had Job's three friends stop speaking? (32:1)
   - Because Job was righteous in his own eyes

2) Who now begins to speak? (32:2)
   - Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram

3) Why was Elihu angry with Job? (32:2)
   - Because Job justified himself rather than God

4) Why was Elihu angry with Job's three friends? (32:3)
   - Because they had provided no real solution, yet condemned Job

5) Why had Elihu held off speaking until now? (32:4)
   - Because he was much younger

6) According to the outline above, what four reasons are given for why
   Elihu now speaks?
   - He is angry (32:1-5)
   - Wisdom is not limited to the aged (32:6-14)
   - He is compelled (32:15-22)
   - He believes he can help Job (33:1-7)

7) With what statements of Job does Elihu take issue? (33:8-12)
   - "I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me."
   - "Yet He (God) finds occasion against me, He counts me as His
     enemy"

8) What examples does Elihu provide of God's effort to save man from
   death? (33:14-30)
   - Dreams or visions in the night
   - Chastening with pain
   - Sending messengers

9) How then does Elihu view the reason for Job's suffering?
   - As disciplinary, from a gracious God; not punitive, as from an
     enemy

10) What two statements of Job does Elihu respond to next? (34:5-9)
   - "I am righteous, but God has taken away my justice."
   - "It profits a man nothing that he should delight in God."

11) What is Elihu's response? (34:10,12)
   - "Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to
     commit iniquity."
   - "Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert
     justice."

12) What does Elihu then go on to describe? (34:16-30)
   - The impartial justice of God

13) Of what sin does Elihu charge Job? (34:37)
   - Rebellion; multiplying his words against God

14) How does Elihu answer Job's complaint that it profits a man nothing
    to delight in God? (35:4-7)
   - God is not manipulated by man's actions

15) What reason does Elihu give for why God might not answer the cries
    of men? (35:12)
   - Because of their pride

16) Maintaining that God is just, what does Elihu counsel Job? (35:14)
   - To wait for Him

17) What does Elihu feel that Job has done? (35:16)
   - Opened his mouth in vain, multiplying words without knowledge

18) At this point, what does Elihu presume to do? (36:2-3)
   - To speak on God's behalf, and to ascribe righteousness to his
     Maker

19) What does he first proclaim concerning God? (36:5-23)
   - God's goodness and justice, as shown toward the righteous and
     wicked

20) What does he then proclaim concerning God? (36:24-37:24)
   - God's majesty and greatness, as seen in His dealings with nature

21) What does Elihu counsel Job to therefore do? (37:14)
   - Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God

22) What are Elihu's closing words? (37:23-24)
   - As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power,
     in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress
   - Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise
     of heart
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