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©Kris Gerbrandt

Chapter 33:1-18 (ESV)

Posted on June 14, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 33:1-18 (ESV) - But now, hear my speech, O Job,
    and listen to all my words.
Behold, I open my mouth;
    the tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
    and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
The Spirit of God has made me,
    and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me, if you can;
    set your words in order before me; take your stand.
Behold, I am toward God as you are;
    I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.
Behold, no fear of me need terrify you;
    my pressure will not be heavy upon you.

“Surely you have spoken in my ears,
    and I have heard the sound of your words.
You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;
    I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
Behold, he finds occasions against me,
    he counts me as his enemy,
he puts my feet in the stocks
    and watches all my paths.’

“Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
    for God is greater than man.
Why do you contend against him,
    saying, ‘He will answer none of man's words’?
For God speaks in one way,
    and in two, though man does not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
    while they slumber on their beds,
then he opens the ears of men
    and terrifies them with warnings,
that he may turn man aside from his deed
    and conceal pride from a man;
he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.

Question to consider: Did Job really proclaim that he was pure and without transgression?

In yesterday’s passage Elihu made a special effort to point out how he gave Job a chance to speak and listened carefully to his words, and yet his first argument against Job in today’s passage was that he understood Job to be saying that he was pure and without transgression. If Elihu had indeed listened carefully to Job, he would have realized that Job never proclaimed he was perfect. He only said that when compared with other people, he had not done anything more deserving of being counted as God’s enemy. When it came to standing before God in righteousness, Job put his hope in a Redeemer who would advocate for him because nobody was pure and without transgression.

Elihu also took issue with Job’s argument that God did not give an answer to man. Elihu argued that God did indeed give answer to man through dreams and warnings to repent, and it was man’s fault for not perceiving these things. Again, I think Elihu misrepresented Job here because Job was not opposed to repenting if someone could point out what he had done wrong.

Job also didn’t argue that God never made His word known to man. Instead, he said that he had no ability to stand before God to advocate for himself, but needed a special advocate who was both a son of man and worthy to argue before God. Of course, the only way a son of man could argue before God is if he were perfectly righteous because no one can stand before God in sin and live.

Christ is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is our sinless advocate with the Father. We can stand before God only if we are clothed in His righteousness. This is what the cross is all about. Jesus clothed Himself in our sin on the cross so that we could be clothed in His righteousness in our baptism. The apostle Paul wrote about this to the church in Rome, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for revealing our need for an advocate through Job, and for supplying that advocate in Christ. Please help us to reveal this truth to others who think they can rely on their own good works for salvation. Amen.