Job 32 Commentary
Chapter 32 begins with what appears like a mini-book within the Book of Job. Elihu has his own opinion and it’s a balance between the two arguments. From the introduction, Elihu isn’t happy with Job’s reaction to suffering. He is also unhappy with Job’s three friends. They have failed to come up with convincing arguments regarding Job’s suffering.
The reference to Elihu’s age may draw the thought that ancient wisdom had failed to answer the question of suffering, especially when it fell on the righteous. Ancient wisdom also failed to explain why the wicked often lived long, unharmed by pain and suffering.
For the next 6 days, we shall hear from Elihu. He begins by disarming the thought that only the aged can possess wisdom. By referring to the breath of the Almighty as the source of understanding, Elihu wants to rely on the revealed word of God. But Elihu’s opinion remains human as eventually, the LORD will speak for Himself.
Elihu promises to be impartial. He won’t use the arguments of the three friends. However, it is nearly impossible for the reader to be impartial because we already know that Job is innocent. We also find it easy to be on Job’s side since we have also hated it each time we have suffered in our innocence, albeit relative innocence. We also feel there isn’t anything wrong with Job’s petitions. It should be the essence of prayer that the saint can pour his thoughts before his Father in Heaven. So we have already taken a defensive position as we listen to Elihu. Let’s wait to hear what he says.
The praying saint is always encouraged when they read about Martha and Mary in the Gospel of John. They plainly blamed Lazarous’ death on Jesus’ absence. So a petition isn’t bad at all. And we know it springs from an understanding that the God of love can’t allow this to happen. It becomes a battle between God’s character and the evidence on the ground. They don’t match. Will Elihu’s argument clear this troublesome conflict?
Will Elihu’s argument help resolve our own conflicts? Why is wickedness winning the ball game? And, why all the troubles for the righteous of God through Christ Jesus? We are itching for Elihu’s speech!
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