Job 33 Commentary

Job 33 Commentary

Why does Job think that God never answers anybody’s questions? This is not true. God always answers, one way or another, even when people don’t recognize His presence.

Elihu proposes a couple of ways in which the LORD speaks to the saint. Firstly, in a dream or a vision at night. The LORD may warn the saint in order to keep him from wrongdoing. Secondly, the LORD may speak to the saint via pain and suffering. It is a message from the LORD to discourage sin while at the same time encouraging repentance.

Elihu’s thoughts are quite advanced but they are not still addressing the core problem of the Book of Job. He has just refined and upgraded the argument of the three friends. He is not bold enough to say that Job had sinned hence the punishment. Rather, he addresses the question of whether or not God answers prayer. To Elihu, suffering may be one of the ways that the LORD speaks to His people.

Of course, it doesn’t sit very well with Job’s case because the LORD is not at all messaging Job. Elihu’s proposition may hold water generally, as supported by scripture elsewhere, but it’s a real flop of an argument in Job’s present circumstances.

But then Elihu speaks about a mediator who may be merciful and speak to God on behalf of the errant man. There are two things here. Firstly, the mediator will ‘tell them how to be upright’. Secondly, the mediator then speaks to God saying: “spare them from going down to the pit”. We have a very good picture of the Cross! Jesus is the way. He tells us how to be upright. Then He puts in a good word before the Heavenly Father. And the saint experiences salvation. He will not get what he deserved.

Elihu’s theology is generally right though it doesn’t still help Job. He was never in need of salvation. Neither will it be right to assume that every pain and suffering is a message from the LORD to the sinner.  Of course, Elihu is smarter than that. He used the word ‘may’. What may be true is that suffering gives us an opportunity to introspect and start looking at the brevity of the life we know.

Let’s see what Elihu says tomorrow.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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