Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results

Buy the book for this study on Amazon


Chapter 36:1-15 (ESV)

Posted on June 20, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 36:1-15 (ESV) - And Elihu continued, and said:

“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.
I will get my knowledge from afar
    and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words are not false;
    one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

“Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any;
    he is mighty in strength of understanding.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
    but gives the afflicted their right.
He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
    but with kings on the throne
    he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
And if they are bound in chains
    and caught in the cords of affliction,
then he declares to them their work
    and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
He opens their ears to instruction
    and commands that they return from iniquity.
If they listen and serve him,
    they complete their days in prosperity,
    and their years in pleasantness.
But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword
    and die without knowledge.

“The godless in heart cherish anger;
    they do not cry for help when he binds them.
They die in youth,
    and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
    and opens their ear by adversity.

Question to consider: How do Elihu’s words reveal his arrogance?

Have you ever noticed that the ones who profess to be the most holy are usually the hardest to be around? Their attempts at holiness is not the problem. It is the stench of hubris and hypocrisy that inevitably follows their words. It was bad enough that every statement that came out of Elihu’s mouth was introduced with “listen to my words” as if he craved the attention and respect of the elder statesmen, but in today’s passage, he professed to speak for God. It was bad enough that Elihu thought he could be Job’s advocate and justifier before God, but in today’s passage, he professed to have perfect knowledge.

It is very difficult to have a discussion with someone who has never been wrong about anything. Elihu refused to consider anything beyond the idea that God prospers the righteous and afflicts the wicked. Elihu believed that those who repented of their wickedness were restored to their good fortunes, and those who did not were struck down in their youth. 

To Elihu, Job’s calamity was proof positive that he was wicked and was hiding some kind of secret sin. He would only accept the idea that Job needed to fess up to his transgression and repent of it in order to be restored. If he refused to do so, then Elihu believed that Job should be stripped of his earthly rule and have his life taken from him.

God would eventually confront Job about his authority to question God, but I think we should always keep in mind when reading this book that God said of Job, “that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil.” (Job 1:8)  Job might have questioned why he was chosen to receive such affliction, but it is clear from the text that “in all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10)


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for making a way for us to be able to come to You in prayer. Help us to know and love You well enough to praise You in the midst of difficult times and to be a witness of Your glory when we see how You have worked it out for Your good purposes. Amen.