Sunday, February 27, 2005

Elihu, meek and Mild: Job 32-33

Elihu's approach to ministry was quite different from that of Job's other three friends. In many ways, Elihu showed more of the heart of Jesus in his ministry to Job then the other three did.
"Do not say, 'We have found wisdom; God will rout him, not man.' For he has not arranged his words against me, nor will I reply to him with your arguments." (Job 32:13-14)
In their "ministry" to Job, the other three quickly became indignant when Job questioned the soundness of their wisdom. Elihu implies that they were more concerned with being right than with helping Job. They were more concerned that their "wisdom" should triumph over Job's arguments than whether Job's affliction was eased by their "wisdom". Elihu, however, understood that Job's argument was not with man, but with God. There was no reason for Elihu to take Job's arguments and complaints personally. Elihu didn't care if Job affirmed him as being right. Elihu's ministry was not conditional upon Job agreeing with him. Elihu just wanted to help Job.
"Behold, I belong to God like you; I too have been formed out of the clay. Behold, no fear of me should terrify you, nor should my pressure weigh heavily on you." (Job 33:6-7)
Elihu did not consider himself better than Job. When we are doing well, it is easy to look down on those who are experiencing difficult times. It is also easy to have contempt for those who experience difficulty in areas where we personally do not suffer. Yet we are all the same. We are all brothers, we are all created by God, we are all His children.

Elihu also did presume to act as God to Job. Elihu was not Job's master, nor was he Job's judge and jury. Elihu did not come as "the man of God", as one full of authority and judgment. Elihu did not attempt to intimidate Job with his righteousness, spirituality, or superior wisdom. Elihu was meek and mild before Job. He acted as Job's brother, as his friend, as one of whom Job did not need to fear.
"Then if you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you." (Job 33:32)
Elihu was on Job's side. Elihu wanted the best for Job. He wanted what was right and just for Job. Elihu was concerned with Job's interests more than his own. The other three men sought to justify themselves; to justify their wisdom and their theology. They were more concerned with themselves than with Job. Such an attitude is nothing but arrogance. Elihu's attitude, on the other hand, is very reminiscent of how Jesus came that He might justify us, "for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47)

Elihu brought more than sound counsel and wisdom to Job, he brought the heart of the Father. Elihu ministered not only the Word of God but also the Heart of God. And in such, he provided himself to be a true servant of God.

David Robison


  1. Anonymous12:46 PM


    I believe you missed Elihu by about 180 degrees. I believe he was an arrogant youngster that should have kept his mouth shut. He attacked Job for his sin. Yet God and Satan failed to find sin in Job. God pronounced Job blameless, Satan the accuser would have called God a liar at the first of Job's sins, yet Elihu comes along and accuses Job of sin that Satan never found... interesting. Check out why Elihu was speaking. He spoke in anger. He spoke in arrogance. He did not speak right of God as His servant Job did. God ignored Elihu in the epilogue for good reason. Not even recognizing Elihu's existence was the greatest slap in the face that God could have administered to such a self important youngster.

    Please re-look this, for Job's integrity is at stake... (and because of your comparison, so is Jesus')

  2. You may be right, the God did not condem or commend Elihu, however, my take on him was do to the fact that God did not require him to repent for what he said, as He did for Job's other three friends. Thanks for you comments, David