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John Brown :: Job 15-37

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I. INTRODUCTION

A. In our last study of the book of Job (Chapters 11-14), - Job had just replied to Zophar's speech.

1. Chapter 14 concludes the "first round" of speeches by Job's friends.

2. All of their speeches have ended pretty much the same with the accusation that Job is in sin and too proud to admit it!

3. Of course, Job maintains his innocence.

B. In Chapters 15 though 31, Zophar speaks once more and Eliphaz as well as Bildad speaks two more times!

1. Job answers them all, and maintains his innocence!

C. In Chapters 32 through 37, a young man by the name of Elihuspeaks up because he can no longer contain himself as he listened to the others.

1. In all of his 4 speeches, he doesn't help Job either, but he comes a lot closer!

2. He has some things to say about the Lord that are worth listening to!

II. TEXT

A. Job 32:1-3 (NKJV) So these three men ceased answering Job, because he [was] righteous in his own eyes. 2 Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. 3 Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and [yet] had condemned Job.

1. Elihu feels that he has to speak for two reasons:

a) #1 Job had spent most his time justifying himself, and not defending the Lord.

(1) Basically, he was accusing the Lord of being unfair in his life!

b) #2 He was upset that Job's three friends had accused Job, but given him no real answers!

(1) This is true, but there is also an underlying assumption that HE CAN do better.

B. Job 32:4-7 (NKJV) Now because they [were] years older than he, Elihu had waited to speak to 5 When Elihu saw that [there] [was] no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused. 6 So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: "I [am] young in years, and you [are] very old; Therefore I was afraid, And dared not declare my opinion to you. 7 I said, `Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.'

1. This is quite a different perspective upon youth respecting their elders than we have today.

a) If it were today, this young man would probably have already given his opinion with little concern for his elders!

C. Job 32:9-10 (NKJV) Great men are not [always] wise, Nor do the aged [always] understand justice. 10 "Therefore I say, `Listen to me, I also will declare my opinion.'

1. What he is saying at the beginning of these verses is that being old, or powerful (successful) doesn't necessarily guarantee wisdom and understanding.

a) That is certainly true!And evidenced with Job's three friends.

D. Job 33:1-8 (NKJV) "But please, Job, hear my speech, And listen to all my words 2 Now, I open my mouth; My tongue speaks in my mouth. 3 My words [come] from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge. 4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 5 If you can answer me, Set [your] [words] in order before me; Take your stand. 6 Truly I [am] as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay. 7 Surely no fear of me will terrify you, Nor will my hand be heavy on you. 8 "Surely you have spoken in my hearing, And I have heard the sound of [your] words, [saying],

1. "Job, I am just a man like you, but you have been asking for a mediator.I will be your mediator! I have listened and heard your story, now you will hear what the Lord thinks!"

a) You have to admire this young man's boldness in standing up for the Lord, but he is a little to "self-important."

(1) It is an awesome thing to say that you speak for the Lord!

2. There is one of the things Elihu has heard Job say that he wishes to discuss!

E. Job has said in Job 33:9-11 (NKJV) `I [am] pure, without transgression; I [am] innocent, and [there] [is] no iniquity in me. 10 Yet He finds occasions against me, He counts me as His enemy; 11 He puts my feet in the stocks, He watches all my paths. '

1. Job say that he is innocent therefore, the insinuation is that God is unjust in dealing with Job the way he has!

F. Job 33:12-17 (NKJV) "Look, [in] this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is greater than man. 13 Why do you contend with Him? For He does not give an accounting of any of His words. 14 For God may speak in one way, or in another, [Yet] [man] does not perceive it. 15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds, 16 Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction. 17 In order to turn man [from] [his] deed, And conceal pride from man,

1. "Job, you have forgotten that God is greater than man, and He doesn't have to give an account or explain what He does!"

a) This may be hard to take, but it is still true today!

2. Notice that this was before the Bible, and the Lord often spoke through dreams and visions!

a) It is not that He cannot do the same today, but the most effective and most exhaustive instruction the Lord will ever give is in His Word!

b) I for one am very happy that we don not have to solely depend upon dreams and visions to know the will of the Lord!

3. Elihu reminds Job that that the Lord often does what He does In order to turn man [from] [his] deed, And conceal pride from man, VS 17

G. Job 33:29-30 (NKJV) "Behold, God works all these [things], Twice, [in] [fact], three [times] with a man, 30 To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

1. In other words, God's motivation is ALWAYS just and for our benefit!

2. These verses only reinforce Roma 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.

3. Now on to Chapter 34

H. Job 34:1-9 (NKJV) Elihu further answered and said: 2 "Hear my words, you wise [men]; Give ear to me, you who have knowledge. 3 For the ear tests words As the palate tastes food. 4 Let us choose justice for ourselves; Let us know among ourselves what [is] good. 5 "For Job has said, `I am righteous, But God has taken away my justice; 6 Should I lie concerning my right? My wound [is] incurable, [though] [I] [am] without transgression.' 7 What man [is] like Job, [Who] drinks scorn like water, 8 Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity, And walks with wicked men? 9 For he has said, `It profits a man nothing That he should delight in God. '

1. He says, "Listen up," to Job's friends as well as Job!

2. "Job has said that God had wounded him for no reason, but even his response has put him in the company of sinners."

a) Because the message he has sent out by that statement basically says, "It profits a man nothing That he should delight in God."

(1) When Christians complain about their lives it sends the same message today!

(2) It tells the world that Christianity is a joke, and that there is not God who really cares about man!!

I. Job 34:10-12 (NKJV) "Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God [to] [do] wickedness, And [from] the Almighty to [commit] iniquity. 11 For He repays man [according] [to] his work, And makes man to find a reward according to [his] way. 12 Surely God will never do wickedly, Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.

1. God cannot do or be wicked or unjust!It is against His nature!

J. Job 34:31-37 (NKJV) "For has [anyone] said to God, `I have borne [chastening]; I will offend no more; 32 Teach me [what] I do not see; If I have done iniquity, I will do no more'? 33 Should He repay [it] according to your [terms], [Just] because you disavow it? You must choose, and not I; Therefore speak what you know. 34 "Men of understanding say to me, Wise men who listen to me: 35 `Job speaks without knowledge, His words [are] without wisdom.' 36 Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost, Because [his] answers [are] [like] those of wicked men! 37 For he adds rebellion to his sin; He claps [his] [hands] among us, And multiplies his words against God."

1. "Job you would be better of throwing yourself upon the mercy of the court instead of trying to justify yourself!"

2. "Just because you cannot `see' or understand the thing in your life that the Lord is dealing with, should He change who He is just for you?"

3. "Job, you speak without wisdom."

a) Remember we said at the beginning that age does not guarantee wisdom!

b) Elihu ends these verses telling Job that he hopes that the Lord doesn't let up until he can magnify the Lord instead of justifying himself!

4. Now we conclude with a brief look at Chapters 35-37.

K. Job 35:1-8 (NKJV) Moreover Elihu answered and said: 2 "Do you think this is right? Do you say, `My righteousness is more than God's'? 3 For you say, `What advantage will it be to You? What profit shall I have, more than [if] I had sinned?' 4 "I will answer you, And your companions with you. 5 Look to the heavens and see; And behold the clouds--They are higher than you. 6 If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, [if] your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? 7 If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? 8 Your wickedness affects a man such as you, And your righteousness a son of man.

1. It appears that in the back of this young man's mind is the thought that Job figures that he is dying anyway and things can't get any worse, so why admit that he is at fault?

a) There is no proof that this was in Job's heart, but it is an interesting deduction!

2. Based upon this deduction, the thought here is this:

a) Man's sin or his righteousness will not change the Lord one iota in the long run!

b) But, it will affect the life of a man a great deal.

(1) In other words, we are not making the Lord any greater by living Godly lives, but we are better people for doing so!

(2) So, Job giving the Lord His rightful place in his heart could only result in his own good!

L. Job 36:4-7 (NKJV) For truly my words [are] not false; One who is perfect in knowledge [is] with you. 5 "Behold, God [is] mighty, but despises [no] [one]; [He] [is] mighty in strength of understanding. 6 He does not preserve the life of the wicked, But gives justice to the oppressed. 7 He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But [they] [are] on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, And they are exalted.

1. Elihu assures Job that the Lord is the only one is perfect in knowledge, and that he is with him!

2. He also assures him that the Lord despises [no][one],

a) Something Job had forgotten.

3. He remind him that God is just.

4. And that the Lord sees Job's pain!

M. Job 36:22-23 (NKJV) "Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him? 23 Who has assigned Him His way, Or who has said, `You have done wrong'? (To the Lord)

N. Job 37:22-24 (NKJV) He comes from the north [as] golden [splendor]; With God [is] awesome majesty. 23 As [for] the Almighty, we cannot find Him; [He] [is] excellent in power, [In] judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. 24 Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any [who] [are] wise of heart."

III. CONCLUSION

A. The next time you feel like complaining about your life remember these things from Elihu's speech:

1. Being old, or powerful (successful) doesn't necessarily guarantee wisdom and understanding.

a) No matter how long you have been in the Lord, ask yourself if you really have the wisdom to question the Lord!

2. God is greater than man, and He doesn't have to give an account or explain what He does!"

a) It is nice when He does, but He is not "required to."

3. The Lord often does what He does In order to turn man [from] [his] deed, And conceal pride from man, vs. 17

4. God's motivation is ALWAYS just! It is against His nature to be anything other! (Rom 8:28)

5. What we say about the Lord in the middle of a trial can either be a great witness or an awful one!

6. It is a lot smarter to throw ourselves upon the Lord's mercy that to try and justify ourselves!

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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