Tag Archive: Elihu

“The third scene introduces a young man named Elihu who claims that neither Job nor his friends are correct.  God does not act capriciously, as Job claims, and suffering is not necessarily the result of sin, as Job’s friends claim.  Elihu argues that suffering is often used by God to teach lessons and to strengthen a person.”

Read:  Job 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

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The mysterious Elihu…
Shhhhhh…God always has an answer…


In Job chapter 33, Elihu’s ideas differ from that of the other three friends.  He thinks Job needs to put on his listening ears.  He questions Job: “You really think God doesn’t respond to our questions?”  Elihu’s idea is that God always answers, Job just isn’t listening.

“Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it.”   Job 33:14

Elihu and I are kindred spirits, I think.  I have a very similar view of how God works in our lives.  (It’s kinda’ the point of this blog!)  There are no coincidences, ironies, or luck in life… every tiny detail is fashioned and planned by God, and He wants us to see how tangible and involved in life He really is… and Elihu tells Job says the same thing; “Open your eyes!”

He tells Job that God always speaks, always answers us in one way or another; through dreams [Job 33:15-18], suffering [Job 33:19-22] or a messenger [Job 33:23-24] and had Job been listening he would have his answer.

But God doesn’t always give us clear answers.  Yes I do agree that He always answers but sometimes He is silent because the answer is WAIT.  In fact, I wrote a blog post not too long ago about my friend Noriko who waited 15 years for her mom’s salvation.  15 years!!  Talk about an answer of silence!  (Read about it here.)

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”   Psalm 27:14

So why doesn’t God just tell us?  Wouldn’t it be easier for people to follow Him if they knew the answers and He revealed what He was up to?

My study Bible explains it this way:

Our greatest test may be that we must trust God’s goodness
even though we don’t understand why our lives are going a certain way.
We must learn to trust in God who is good
and not in the goodness of life.

If God were to answer all of our questions or explain why He chose to put us through the trial we face, we wouldn’t have to rely fully on Him.  We would go on doing our own thing until the trial was over, until the purpose God revealed to us came to be and only then would we return to Him asking “Ok, what’s next?!”  There would be no reason to seek His wisdom or guidance and certainly no reason to approach Him in prayer because we would already have the answers.

It’s hard to be a follower of Christ.  Life comes with so many questions and surprises and very often it seems like God is being too quiet.  But know this, He is working even when we can’t see it.

Are you in a place where you aren’t sure what your next step is?
Is God being too quiet?
Be patient, God will show you… in His timing.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.”   Psalm 130:5

Lord, I pray that at all times and in every situation You will inspire fresh faith in me to keep seeking You and trusting You even when I don’t understand what You’re doing.  I know You are at work, both in me and in the situation.

In chapter 32, Job’s friends have had it with him.  He’s not listening, so they cross their arms and turn their backs in a ridiculous pout.

[cue: silent observer Elihu]

Would love to know who the dude is covering his face…Job? Then who’s the guy next to him?!

Who is this Elihu? Where does he come from? Has he been there the whole time, quietly watching the shenanigans between Job, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar?

So it seems.

I have heard it said that perhaps Elihu is the writer of Job.  Many believe that Moses, Isaiah or Job himself wrote this book, but it seems very plausible that it could be Elihu.  He is never mentioned in the beginning of the book or any time during the conversations between Job and the other three friends, which leads me to believe that he is part of the media…forced to write with an unbiased opinion, just the facts… but things go too far; he can no longer sit idly by so he throws down his iron pen, lead and stone and speaks up.

It urks Elihu that Job, not God, declares he is blameless [Job 32:2] and that the three friends didn’t really have an answer but still condemn Job [Job 32:3].

I am extremely impressed with this quiet friend, although I do have an issue with his view of the age of Job and his friends.  I imagined them, in my mind, to be more mature but certainly not “old”; Job had several grown children by this time so he and his friends were quite possibly (according to our average life span) in their 50’s or 60’s but this punk Elihu, although he had been holding his tongue out of respect,

“Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were years older than he.”   Job 32:4

begins his speech like a typical teenager…

“So Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite spoke out and said, “I am young in years and you are old…”   Job 32:6

I can only imagine his Dad slinking out of the room at this point…

But I love Elihu’s heart and knowledge of God and I love that even in the Old Testament, without Christ having lived and died yet, believers are led by the Spirit…

“But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.”   Job 32:8

and Elihu is going to burst if he doesn’t say something.

“I too will answer my share, I also will tell my opinion. For I am full of words; The spirit within me constrains me. Behold, my belly is like unvented wine, Like new wineskins it is about to burst. Let me speak that I may get relief; Let me open my lips and answer.”   Job 32:17-20

This is exactly how it feels to be moved by the Spirit.  He won’t let you sit still and continues to bug, aggravate and grate on you until you are forced to say something.  It’s an interesting and uncomfortable feeling.

The position I used to hold at work allowed me to work closely with the girls at other clinics and offices.  I became fast friends with one gal especially and when I sent a notice out about my change in hours, she asked “Why the change?”

I shared with her my “story” of returning to full-time work when Jax lost his job and now being able to significantly reduce my hours because Jax is employed again.

She responded with “Isn’t it cool how it all works out?” and all I could hear was the Spirit’s leading to give God the glory.

I didn’t.  I only responded in agreement.

Almost instantly I received another email saying how neat it was that everything just always seems to “work out,” and again I heard… “Give God the glory.”

But what seemed to be stronger was the voice convincing me; “She won’t understand.”

I said nothing.

Later that evening while talking with my then nine year old, Sydney, I asked her how she lives for God at school and she broke down in tears.  Her response?  “It’s so hard!!  I’m scared about what other people will think!  I don’t know what to say!”

Doesn’t that sound familiar??

Praise God that He fills us with His Spirit and moves us at times to speak up…it’s up to us to obey.

“… Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”   Psalm 143:10

“You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them…”   Nehemiah 9:20

Lord, forgive me for not acting on Your Spirit’s prompting.  I praise you for not letting me be okay with missing that opportunity.  Please help me continue to feel Your leading and responding to it well.

“It matters not if the world has heard
or approves or understands…
the only applause we’re meant to seek
is that of nail-scarred hands.”
-B.J. Hoff

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