The difference with Elihu’s speech is that while Jobs other friends spoke accusations against Job, working to get him to admit he had done something wrong and must’ve brought on this punishment from God, Elihu speaks of how God redeems and restores. He speaks of God’s true nature. Elihu’s speech is the definition of edifying. Elihu does what we should all do as we reach out to others, he reminds Job that he, too, is a mere man and not above Job.
Behold, I belong to God like you; I too was formed out of the clay. Behold, I will not make you afraid or terrified of me [for I am only mortal and not God], nor should any pressure from me weigh heavily upon you.Job 33:6-7 AMP
Whenever we feel or encounter peer pressure, we should remember these verses. We were all created the same way and it is not our fellow man we should fear and give in to, especially when compared to the greatness of God. It is not man’s opinion of us that we should be concerned about, but God’s opinion. Man’s opinion of us will fluctuate and eventually fade away. God’s opinion of us is constant and will last for eternity.
I think this verse is an important one to remember when we’re faced with pressure from man to follow their ways. When we’re faced with making decisions we know are wrong. When we’re faced with man’s contempt for speaking the Word of God or for living our life God’s way instead of simply our way.
There’s something else there, though. A few verses prior, Elihu tells the men around him, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4 CSB)
We are all made the same way. Job, his friends, and Elihu were all made the same way. They were surrounded by the same culture, the same expectations, yet it alone was Elihu who spoke light into Job’s situation. What was the difference? Elihu spoke from a place of being near to God. He spoke from an upright heart. Upright according to who? God.
We are all capable of drawing close to God. We are all capable of finding Him, of entering His presence, and hearing His words. We are all capable of allowing His words to flow through us and speak them.
We were given a gift at our creation, one that was not given to anything else. The breath of God. Ruach is the word used and it means both Breath and Spirit. God breathed His very life into us, making us more than what had been created before us. That Spirit is what makes us eternal as He is eternal. That Spirit, breathed within us, still lies within us as an intricate part of our makeup, our design. It may lie dormant in the aspect that we have not willingly accessed it, but it is still there hidden within us.
God gave us a way to access that Spirit. God gave us a channel to renew us and draw us closer to Him. He brought us to life at our creation and He brings us back to life at our second birth, our second creation. This one is not a physical creation like the first, but a spiritual one. A creation that takes place in our inner-being then overflows into our outer-being. We must first harbor God’s Word within our heart, within our inner-selves, and then from that abundance, it will overflow from us into the world around us. (Matt. 12:34-35)
We were all made the same way and we can all be re-made the same way. No one is exempt. No one is too far gone. The breath of God will blow on us all the same if we but ask Him to. His Spirit will come alive within us once more, dormant no longer, and we can all walk with Him as Adam did before the fall. As Enoch did. As Elijah did. As Jesus does. (Gen. 5:24; 1 Kings 19:5-8)
Look, let me answer you, in this you are not right or just; for God is greater and far superior to man. Why do you complain against Him? That He does not answer [you with] all His doings. For God speaks once, and even twice, yet no one notices it [including you Job].Job 33:12-14
Are we too busy complaining, or even just talking, to hear God? Do we pause and wait expectantly for Him to speak? Do we only listen for the answers to our questions and complaints?
Job had been so busy complaining and defending himself, he had yet to truly pause and listen for God’s answer. Job sought the answer from the mouth of men and became consumed with answering them when they spoke. He had closed of his ears to God and did not pay attention to if God actually answered him or not.
God is always speaking but we don’t always listen. When we do listen, we may be operating in selective hearing. If it’s not what we’re waiting ro then we don’t want to hear it. We need to work on not only listening for God’s voice, but listening to and for everything that He is speaking, not just what is us-specific.
Job had entered a cycle with his other three friends, but as Elihu begins to speak Wisdom to him, it causes Job to pause long enough that his inner-being tunes back into God’s voice and is able to hear His answer.
If we want to hear God’s voice, we have know His voice. If we want His rhema word (spoken word) we have to know His written word. Knowing and receiving His word is a cycle unto itself. As we get to know God’s Word more, we receive God’s word more. (Rom. 10:14;17)
Hearing God’s Word causes us to pause, to listen, to draw near. Once we have drawn near, we come to know Him in a way as we had not before. His Word, whether someone speaks it to us or we read it ourselves, familiarizes us with His voice so that He may further speak to us. As we hear His voice, we come to know His written Word more, allowing us to identify His rhema word even further.
Disciplined and Delivered
Then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep him from pride. He holds back his soul from the pit [of destruction], and his life from passing over into Sheol (the place of the dead).Job 33:16-18 AMP
God does not leave people in their sin. He speaks to them, giving them warning after warning of what will happen if they do not turn away from their sin. He gives them every opportunity to make the choice to turn from sin, rejecting it, and following Him. But in the end, it is still the person’s choice what they will do.
Man is also disciplined with pain on his bed, and with unceasing complain in his bones.Job 33:19 AMP
God does not cause bad things to happen, in fact He fights to keep them from happening, but He will allow them to happen and H will use them to try and draw a person closer to Him.
Up to now, Job has complained about the state of his life. He has looked for a purpose in his pain, in his loss, and has found none. None of his other friends could answer him, they only brought accusations against him and lofty ideals about life. Yet here is the answer Job has been seeking.
Without the pain and the loss, would Job have ever opened his eyes and faced the state of his “righteousness”? How many times had God previously reached out to Job to draw him nearer, only to be met with resistance? How many times had Job previously let the opinion of the masses dictate his actions? In looking back at his routine sacrifices for his children, were they truly for God or for the nod of agreement from the people? What did his children learn about God by him offering those sacrifices? What did Job learn about God by offering those sacrifices?
One might argue that God brought Job to the enemy’s attention, but in truth Job was already on the Accuser’s radar. He had been at work in Job’s life already, yet even then God continued to bless Job, to keep Job from the pain of life. Remember, the enemy walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) According to his answer to God’s inquiry, he had been roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it. (Job 1:7) He already knew about Job and accredited Job’s upstanding lifestyle to God’s protection.
Yet God knew even in this moment the state of Job’s heart. He knew that Job could be more abundantly blessed, that the desire of Job’s heart could be fulfilled. Notice, in His response, God says, “Behold, all that Job has is in your power…” God is not the one who brought pain and destruction into Job’s life. He did, however, use it to reach Job and bring him into a position where the desire of his heart could be met.
God certainly does all these things two or three times to a person in order to turn him back from the Pit, so he may shine with the light of life.Job 33:29-30 CSB
We know through looking at Israel’s history that God does not go for the harsh discipline first. He speaks, He warns, He guides. The shepherd doesn’t roughly pull a lamb out of a hole they’re not in, but warns the lamb to stay away from it any way he can. If the lamb doesn’t follow, they end up in the hole and then the shepherd works to pull the lamb out. We don’t know what all God had tried to do to meet Job’s heart’s desire before. All we see is what we’re given.
God is a God of multiple chances. He will reach out in discipline, grace, and mercy as many times as a man requires. he will accept and welcome back an earnest repenter as many times a the repenter turns to Him for humble forgiveness.
Then the angel is gracious to him, and says, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit [of destruction]; I have found a ransom [a consideration, or a reason for redemption, an atonement]!’ Let his flesh be restored and become fresher than in youth; let him return to the days of his youthful strength. He will pray to God, and He shall be favorable to him, so that he looks at His face with joy; for God restores to man His righteousness [that is, his right standing with God––with its joys]. He sings out to other men, ‘I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it was not proper for me! God has redeemed my life from going to the pit [of destruction], and my life shall see the light.’Job 33:24-28 AMP
God restores and blesses just as He restored and blessed Job. Not only that, because of Job’s life before, he is in a position to teach others the correct way of righteousness.
Our deliverance is not simply for our own benefit or a just consequence of turning from our sin. We are then tell others of our deliverance. We are to speak of how we were destroyed, or almost destroyed, and how God redeemed us from the destruction. Our redemption is also to be a light towards redemption for other people. In thinking on that, I wonder in what way God delivered and restored Elihu.
If you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you. If not [and you have nothing to say], listen to me; keep silent, and I will teach you wisdom.Job 33:32-33 AMP
Yes this is Elihu speaking to Job, but in these words I hear God speaking to us. He wants to justify us, to bring us into a place where justice is a blessing not a curse. God wants us to speak to Him. He also wants us to reach a place of silence, not uncomfortable silence but one of rest where we can hear His voice and receive His wisdom.
Have you let God speak to you lately?
Open yourself up to His voice. Search for it and He promises to meet you where you are, to speak to you and with you, drawing you nearer to Him.
Everyone is capable of this, no one is exempt. If you’re still breathing, still here, you can hear Him and know Him.
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