After lamenting his loss of place in chapters 29 and 30, Job, in what will be his closing statement, again calls up the word “integrity” to plead his cause: “Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!” “If I have walked with falsehood and my foot has hastened to deceit…if my step has turned aside from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes…if I have raised my hand to the fatherless…if I have made gold my trust…let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley.”
And then Job and his friends fall silent. One of the intriguing aspects of this book is the way information is handled. You know why Job has suffered. Job does not. Job’s friends don’t know what you know, nor do they know that Job is innocent.
And none of us knows – or at least no one acknowledges – that there is one more actor hiding just offstage. Elihu, like you, has been sitting in the corner listening. Waiting, like you, for resolution. The author has hidden him from view for reasons known only to him. Even more curious is the introduction that he receives. Listen to the opening of chapter 32:
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he.
Before you read this in context, and hear what Elihu has to say, I want you to think about your initial inclination toward Elihu. What does the author present that makes you likely – or unlikely – to value what he says? The LORD has been silent for 30 chapters, so all options are on the table. Trust that the author knows what he’s doing, and dive in.
Our verse for this week is Luke 16:13: No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Job 31 through 34. Now let’s read it!
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”