Job 32-34

Are You Like Me?

If you are like me somewhere along the journey through the book of Job up to this point you have gotten frustrated because of the endless arguments and just want the book to end. I admit in the past I have shifted into overdrive and sped up my reading and my comprehension has suffered. As a result it is easy to miss the most important chapters in this book.

In Chapter 32 we are introduced to a young man who has been listening to these men and now that they have come to a frustrating end of their “help,” he speaks. It takes him a little while to get started but soon he makes clear that he has not heard enough wisdom to help Job, but interestingly enough, he does not defend Job.

In Bible study we are warned against spiritualizing the scripture. I am going to do that here so be forewarned. Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible and since there is no mention of the priesthood or the Law it fits better in the period of the patriarchs. This is why we are reading it before the book of Exodus.  In the Bible Job is the first of the poetic books and thus was placed with the other poetic books of the Bible which include Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.  

I believe the book of Job foreshadows what is coming. I believe Job represents the nation of Israel from birth in the book of Exodus up to and through the Great Tribulation. I believe Job’s three friends represent the nations Israel will turn to for help and will make treaties with when other nations threaten them. But instead of helping they mislead Israel and turn against the nation.  Elihu represents Jesus and the true Church.  Paul said salvation came to the Church (Gentiles) to make Israel jealous, in Romans 11:11.

So now that I have said this let’s hold on to it loosely so we don’t miss what the young man, Elihu, is saying.  In Chapter 32 we read a long introduction, but in Chapter 33 Elihu speaks to Job. After listening to Job he declares that Job was seeking a righteousness based on works. In so doing he has come to believe that God has treated him unjustly and Job deserves justice. The reality is that Job wants a hearing before God because of the way God has treated him. In all this he has misunderstood who God is and how to relate to the true and living God. The reality is that Job has taken God for granted because of his pride in what he has done and overlooked all that God has done for Job. He is also ignorant of all God’s ways and the reasons God does what He does.  In short Job is treating God as an idol. God wants a relationship with His people and He wants to be exalted and worshiped by them.

This same message is carried on in Chapter 34 and will continue until Elihu silently moves off the scene unnoticed as a storm rolls in and God begins to speak directly to Job in Chapter 38.

In Chapter 34 Elihu addresses the three friends of Job calling them wise men but I believe the audience is much broader than that. We would be wise to take our time through this section of scripture and prayerfully consider how what Elihu says applies to us.

It is one thing to know about God and even think we are serving Him by doing His will, but do we know God? Do we truly realize who He is in relationship to who we really are. Paul writes in Romans 10:6&7, “But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, ‘DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is to bring Christ up from the dead).”  NASB

Paul is saying beware of exalting ourselves to God’s level and beware of bringing God down to our level.

This is what Job and these men were guilty of. We need to be careful that we have a right relationship with God. We need to have a relationship in which we truly recognize who God is and respond with awe and worship. Paul shows us the beginning point of that relationship in Romans 10:8-13.

Along with the prayerful reading of these chapters I also recommend reading Romans 10.

May God bless us with understanding.

Pastor Dave