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In Case You Missed It -- Job 34-35, Psalm 122

When God appears to Job later in our book, the Lord rebukes all of Job’s friends except Elihu. Biblical students have argued over God’s silence towards Elihu for many years. Simply, I believe Elihu does improve upon the counsel of the other friends, even if still imperfect in many ways.

Elihu makes a point of great strength, which was basically absent from the other’s thoughts, in Job 35:10-11: “But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than he teaches the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?’ ” Basically, when we are disappointed in God, we are accustomed to asking, “Why does God allow bad things?” Yet very few of us will ever ask, “Why does God give us so many blessings?” or “Why is such suffering rare?” Elihu makes a valid point that Job ought to consider. Job is right to assert his desire to please God, but what right does Job have to expect all of God’s blessings?

One might say, well Job is a good man. A true response is that this still doesn’t mean we deserve anything from God. Life itself is a good gift that God has prerogative to give or take away. Job said something similar at the beginning of the book when he says that “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). Elihu’s thoughts simply add that God has authority to give and take away without making him unjust. Amen.

Jeremiah Vaught