Job 33:1-11: To You, O Lord, I Call
December 11, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Elihu is mounting his criticism of Job (as well as of Job’s so-called “comforters”). Job is suffering terribly. Job’s friends have accused him of having sinned—it is their own explanation for his suffering. Why else would God allow Job to suffer unless Job deserved it? But Job has insisted that he has not sinned. And that he cannot understand why it is then that God would have allowed him to have suffered as he has.
Elihu now comes along and arguing against both Job’s “comforters” and against Job himself, seeks to make it clear that Job is wrong to have so questioned God. Elihu’s tactic is somewhat different from that of Job’s “friends,” but at the same time Elihu’s words are not commended by God at the end of the Book of Job. In fact, Elihu is not referred to by God at all. And so Elihu’s discourse is something of a non-event: he comes across as a rather passionate, angry young man who is trying zealously to defend God’s honor but does not do it in a particularly brilliant way.
In these verses he brings to the forefront Job’s defense of his own righteousness. “I am pure, I have done nothing wrong…yet God has found fault with me.” Elihu cannot countenance such questioning. For Elihu, even the doubt that Job has is something inappropriate. He cannot—in his youthful zeal—get his mind around someone facing calamity beyond their explanation and stating their doubts to God.
Perhaps you have doubts. Perhaps you have questions that you cannot answer. The Psalms provide plenty of examples of people expressing their confusions to God. It is good medicine to do so, and that kind of “doubt” is not really the opposite of faith, but faith’s natural consequence when faced with circumstances that belie easy explanation.
If you are in trouble, and your faith is being tested, you might like to use the words of Psalm 28 to encourage you:
“To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary” (Psalm 28:1-2).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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