Wise Young People

Well, person.  Today is Job 32-42 and Genesis 12-14.

Elihu begins the conversation with two objections:

  1. Job justified himself, not God.
  2. His friends didn’t refute Job, but still condemned him.

So no one had defended the goodness of God.

At first he is hesitant to speak—“I thought that age should speak, and maturity should teach wisdom” (32:7) but he realizes that it is “the breath of the Almighty” that brings wisdom, not age (v. 8-9).  So he will speak.  He rebukes Job’s friends to the point of speechlessness, and then turns to Job, and entreats him to listen.  He tells him God does not oppose him, but works to save him (ch 33), and reiterates that God does repay a man according to his deeds and does not pervert justice (ch 34), and rebukes Job for being rebellious, complaining, and speaking against God (34:37).  Finally, he accuses Job of overvaluing his riches (Job 36:16-21) and tells him that this is why God has afflicted him, so that he will not value his success, and warns that God “does not look favorably on any who are wise in heart” (37:24).  He sees the Lord coming (37:22), and then, at last, God answers Job out of the whirlwind.

God begins with an argument much like Elihu’s—who are you, Job? Where were you in the face of my mighty works?  This is a very long description of the wonders of creation (ch 38, 39, and 40).

Job answers that he cannot answer.

God rebukes him for challenging His justice, and for exalting his own righteousness at God’s expense.  Then He talks more about His might.

And Job takes back his words and says he has learned; that the “rumors” he knew about God are now “sight” (42:5).  And he repents.

God rebukes Job’s friends (not Elihu), tells them to offer sacrifices, accepts their sacrifices, and then He restores Job, and then Job dies of old age.

The hard thing to me about Job is always puzzling out who speaks truth, beside God.  Job’s friends are clearly wrong, as they are rebuked by all, but Job himself is a little mystifying because Elihu’s rebuke seems valid, and God’s words seem like a rebuke, yet God also says that Job spoke the truth about Him (Job 42:7).  It seems like maybe Job spoke with sound theology, but errant pride, defending his own righteousness at the expense of making God seem unjust, and finding it troublesome that he lost all his riches though righteous, instead of finding his riches in God alone.  I feel like I could study Job for weeks and still not get an accurate grasp on everything going on!

Job 33:14-30 is one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible.

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