Job Chapter Thirty-Five
Read Job 35:1-8
v1-2. “ELIHU SPAKE MOREOVER, AND SAID, THINKEST THOU THIS TO BE RIGHT, that THOU SAIDST, MY RIGHTEOUSNESS is MORE THAN GOD'S?”
Elihu continues in this chapter with some pretty harsh words for Job but at the same time he expects Job to hear and repent of some of the things he has said. He says that Job in his upholding of his righteousness, his defense of his own integrity and his complaint that God is punishing him unjustly has claimed to be more righteous than God.
v3. “FOR THOU SAIDST, WHAT ADVANTAGE WILL IT BE UNTO THEE? and, WHAT PROFIT SHALL I HAVE, if I be cleansed FROM MY SIN?”
Here he takes Job to task for two things that he said.
Job “WHAT is THE ALMIGHTY, THAT WE SHOULD SERVE HIM? AND WHAT PROFIT SHOULD WE HAVE, IF WE PRAY UNTO HIM?”
Job “IF I BE WICKED, WOE UNTO ME; AND if I BE RIGHTEOUS, yet WILL I NOT LIFT UP MY HEAD. I am FULL OF CONFUSION; THEREFORE SEE THOU MINE AFFLICTION;”
Job had said that it didn’t make any difference whether he was righteous or sinful, his affliction was the same. Therefore for him to be without sin was of no benefit, gained him no relief from the troubles and trials that he is suffering. Do we ever find ourselves thinking this sometimes when we have to face trouble? Why should I walk the narrow road, why should I deprive myself of some of the things of this world that I might enjoy when what it brings me is trouble and affliction? This is why we must keep our focus not on the rewards of this world but rather the hope and faith that we will have immensely greater rewards in the one to come.
v4-5. “I WILL ANSWER THEE, AND THY COMPANIONS WITH THEE. LOOK UNTO THE HEAVENS, AND SEE; AND BEHOLD THE CLOUDS which ARE HIGHER THAN THOU.”
And Elihu agrees. Look to the heavens and see. Look to God and understand that we have a higher calling. Behold the clouds, higher than we, are placed there by an almighty hand who rules this universe, who will gather in his children in due time.
v6. “IF THOU SINNEST, WHAT DOEST THOU AGAINST HIM? OR if THY TRANSGRESSIONS BE MULTIPLIED, WHAT DOEST THOU UNTO HIM?”
God is so great and so powerful, if you sin what effect do you have on him? Even if you sin greatly do you do God any harm or hurt? The malice of sinners is impotent before God. It cannot destroy his being or perfection, it cannot dethrone him from his power and dominion, it cannot disturb his peace and repose, it cannot defeat his counsels and designs, it cannot subtract from his glory. So Elihu says that Job spoke amiss.
v7. “IF THOU BE RIGHTEOUS, WHAT GIVEST THOU HIM? OR WHAT RECEIVETH HE OF THINE HAND?”
Now Elihu takes another tack. If we are righteous what does that profit God? He does not need our service; we can give him nothing that he does not already have in terms of material things. He is so far from being beholden to us for anything that we have nothing to complain about and we should be thankful that we have better than perhaps we deserve.
v8. “THY WICKEDNESS may hurt A MAN AS THOU art; AND THY RIGHTEOUSNESS may profit THE SON OF MAN.”
Elihu says here that man may be bettered or damaged by what we do. A wicked man may wound, or rob, or slander his neighbor, or draw him into sin and cost him his soul. On the other hand our goodness, or righteousness, can bring about good to man by our charity, our wisdom, our supporting of justice and mercy toward all.
Read Job 35:9-13
v9. “BY REASON OF THE MULTITUDE OF OPPRESSIONS THEY MAKE the oppressed TO CRY: THEY CRY OUT BY REASON OF THE ARM OF THE MIGHTY.”
Here Elihu takes on another statement that Job had made.
Job 24:12 “MEN GROAN FROM OUT OF THE CITY, AND THE SOUL OF THE WOUNDED CRIETH OUT: YET GOD LAYETH NOT FOLLY to them.”
Job was talking about the oppressors and what he feels is his oppression. Job had complained that God had not regarded his cries for relief from his affliction and Elihu is taking him to task for that complaint. By REASON OF THE MULTITUDE OF OPPRESSIONS, the many hardships which proud tyrants put upon poor people and the barbarous usage they give them, THEY MAKE THE OPPRESSED TO CRY; but it is to no purpose; God does not appear to make right this wrong.
v10. “BUT NONE SAITH, WHERE is GOD MY MAKER, WHO GIVETH SONGS IN THE NIGHT;”
Those that are oppressed usually don’t inquire after God, nor seek to acquaint themselves with him, under their afflictions. Many that groan under great oppressions never mind God, nor take notice of his hand in their troubles, if they did, they would bear their troubles more patiently and be more benefited by them.
v11. “WHO TEACHETH US MORE THAN THE BEASTS OF THE EARTH, AND MAKETH US WISER THAN THE FOWLS OF HEAVEN?”
God gave mankind, as his crowning creation, more power and has made us capable of more excellent pleasures and employment both here and in the hereafter than he did the beasts of the field. We have much to be thankful for, even if we were under the yoke of oppression, because we have our immortal souls, given by God that can never be taken away. Even though we die physically, we live spiritually and will be resurrected to live again in another form which we do not yet know.
v12. “THERE THEY CRY, BUT NONE GIVETH ANSWER, BECAUSE OF THE PRIDE OF EVIL MEN.”
But mankind is proud and un-humbled under their afflictions. They fill the ears of all that are about them with their complaints, not bothering to reflect upon God himself and his providence. Many have, it may be, brought themselves into trouble by their own wickedness; they are the devils poor; and then who can pity them? As we find in one of the Psalms of David:
Psalms 10:4 “THE WICKED, THROUGH THE PRIDE OF HIS COUNTENANCE, WILL NOT SEEK after God: GOD is NOT IN ALL HIS THOUGHTS.”
v13. “SURELY GOD WILL NOT HEAR VANITY, NEITHER WILL THE ALMIGHTY REGARD IT.”
Men, when in this condition and complain, are not sincere, upright and inward toward God, in their supplications to him, and therefore he does not hear and answer their prayer if offered. “SURELY GOD WILL NOT HEAR VANITY” Just as the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable was not justified in his prayer; any hypocrite’s prayer is made in vain.
Read Job 35:14-16
v14. “ALTHOUGH THOU SAYEST THOU SHALT NOT SEE HIM, yet JUDGMENT is BEFORE HIM; THEREFORE TRUST THOU IN HIM.”
Here is another improper statement that Elihu takes Job to task for making. “THOU SAYEST THOU SHALT NOT SEE HIM;” You complain that you don’t understand the meaning of his severe dealings with you, nor understand the design or purpose for them. God has his entire plan for his providence before him, his judgment is pure, He knows what he has to do, and will do all in infinite wisdom and justice; and knows what he will do, and we don’t. So trust in God, that he will do what is right.
v15. “BUT NOW, BECAUSE it is NOT so, HE HATH VISITED IN HIS ANGER; YET HE KNOWETH it NOT IN GREAT EXTREMITY:”
Job, because you have not trusted in Him but rather complained rather than having waited patiently for His will to be revealed; your affliction which first came in love now includes His displeasure at your complaints. Now he has visited thee in anger because of what you spoke against him.
v16. “THEREFORE DOTH JOB OPEN HIS MOUTH IN VAIN; HE MULTIPLIETH WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE.”
And now seeming to speak to everyone present Elihu says the Job opened his mouth in vain and multiplied his words without knowledge. He complained of his grievances and cried for relief; he justified himself and held up his own innocence. But he did this all in vain because he does not trust the Lord nor is willing to wait for Him to reveal his purpose in due time.