RESPOND POSITIVELY TO GOD’S DISCIPLINE
Job 32:1-37:24Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â July 9 2006
Elihu , anew voice , entered the debate. He was the
youngest of those present and spoke a total of four
times. Elihu’s messages form a transition from the
words of Job and his critics to the words of God.
He rebuked Job’s friends for making unsupported
accusations against Job and addressed Job’s
complaint that God would not speak to him. Elihu
pointed out that God speaks to people through
dreams, through pain , and through others.
1. Receive God’s Revelation (Job 33:13-16)
Job 33:13Â Â Why do you contend against him, saying, â€˜He
will answer none of my wordsâ€™? 33:14Â Â For God speaks
in one way, and in two, though people do not perceive it.
33:15Â Â In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep
sleep falls on mortals, while they slumber on their beds,
33:16Â Â then he opens their ears, and terrifies them with
GOD’S COMMUNICATING TO PEOPLE THROUGH DREAMS
seems to have decreased since the coming of the
Holy Spirit . God’s most common means of speaking
to His people today seem to be through the
Holy Spirit’s use of their consistent Bible study,
reflection on the connection of life experiences to
biblical teachings, and prayers. However, we must
be sensitive to both usual and unusual ways the
Lord may be speaking to us.
2. Recognize God’s Reasons (Job 33:17-22)
Job 33:17Â Â that he may turn them aside from their deeds,
and keep them from pride, 33:18Â Â to spare their souls from
the Pit, their lives from traversing the River. 33:19Â Â They
are also chastened with pain upon their beds, and with
continual strife in their bones, 33:20Â Â so that their lives
loathe bread, and their appetites dainty food. 33:21Â Â Their
flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and their
bones, once invisible, now stick out. 33:22Â Â Their souls
draw near the Pit, and their lives to those who bring death.
Elihu offered some generalized statements about how
God uses divine discipline to give those who have
transgressed opportunities to repent. His statements
are directed at Job and express the same flawed idea
held by Job’s three friends. While this view has truth
in it ,it is incomplete because it fails to allow for
exceptions, for the impact of satanic evil in the world,
and for the instructive and redemptive disciplinary
action of the Lord.
3. Respond To God’s Reprimand (Job 36:8-12)
Job 36:8Â Â And if they are bound in fetters and caught in the
cords of affliction, 36:9Â Â then he declares to them their
work and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
36:10Â Â He opens their ears to instruction, and commands that
they return from iniquity. 36:11Â Â If they listen, and serve him,
they complete their days in prosperity, and their years in
pleasantness. 36:12Â Â But if they do not listen, they shall perish
by the sword, and die without knowledge.
This passage is not the guarantee of a health and wealth
gospel. Rather, it is a promise that a life lived in obedience
to God is better than a life that dishonors Him. No amount
of wealth can buy the kind of peace and joy that are the
results of living a life pleasing to God.
Elihu introduced himself (Job 32:1-22) and then asked
Job to listen to what he had to say (Job 33:1-2). He promised
to speak honestly to him (Job 33:3-5) as a fellow human
being (Job 33:6-7).
Elihu Quoted some of Job’s own words back to him, an
indication that he had been listening to the previous
exchanges between Job and his critics. He paraphrased
Job’s assertion of innocence and complaint that God had
treated him like an enemy (Job 33:8-11). Elihu told Job
that he was wrong in what he had said about God and
reminded him that “God is greater than man” (Job 33:12).