ElihuAs Job continues to suffer – his three “friends” have exhausted all their words of condemnation.  In their perspective, Job is haughty and self-righteous; unwilling to accept his sin and repent.  They feel that this calamity has been administered by God unto Job because of his sin – and as long as he continues to deny that sin he will not be healed.

But we know that this calamity came from Satan (1:12; 2:7).

At the silence of the three friends – a young man who has been sitting and listening clears his throat and begins to speak.  Due to his youth, he has remained silent during the entire discussion – allowing the older and “wiser” fellows to speak to Job.  Yet, after hearing them speak such nonsense – and having no answers for Job’s questions, Elihu – the son of Barachel the Buzite , has had enough.  After making it quite clear that he speaks out of respect – yet also that he is quite upset that so little wisdom has been spoken thus far, Elihu begins to share his own perspective.

Unlike the previous gentlemen, young Elihu is correct about a few matters.  He comes right out and informs Job that he is wrong in attributing this calamity to God – and for saying that God is his enemy (33:8-13).  Elihu rebukes Job for his many incorrect statements about God and His dealings with men, defending God both as Just (34:1-35:16); and as Great (36:1-37:24).  He makes it quite clear that although Job has erred in what he has spoken about God during this time of suffering – it isn’t his sin which brought these things upon Job.

But I would like to focus on something Elihu said which is often times overlooked in his speech.  In Job 33:14-28 Elihu sheds some light on just how God does speak and instruct His people.  (Being as this was all before Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit, it is quite remarkable that Elihu had this insight).

In vs 14-18 Elihu reveals that God first will speak to a man in dreams and visions as he sleeps.  The goal is to reveal His purposes to man, as well as save him from destruction (which God always wants to do).

Then in vs 19-22 we see the next phase of how God instructs man (after the 1st step is rejected).  It is at this time that God will allow calamity to come into someone’s life – in the form of sickness or devastation – in an effort to save them.  Since the dreams/visions were ignored – God will resort to allowing other things to do the teaching.

Finally in vs 23-28 Elihu speaks of God sending a Messenger who will speak the Truth – saving the now broken & bruised rebel from the pit.  It is through this Messenger that the individual will return back to God for deliverance and healing – “because I have found a ransom” (33:24).  This is a beautiful foreshadowing of Jesus – who would one day come as a Messenger and pay the “ransom” against us – atoning for our sin and providing deliverance and healing for us all!

In the end, there is much debate over the position Elihu holds in this conversation; some attributing him as another antagonist due to his various inaccurate statements about God and His work in the world.  Others compare Elihu as the Christ-like figure who stands as a mediator between God and man (33:6) – bridging the gap in the conversation between the three friends and God Himself.  Either way – as we shall see next – God decides to come upon the scene and set things right.  He will rebuke Job and his friends, ignore Elihu, and (upon Job’s repentance) restore all that Job has lost!


Be Fruitful & Multiply,