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Elihu’s message to Job was unlike the messages of the three friends who had come to comfort him. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, all said that Job had sinned, or else God would not have punished him. They insisted God does not punish people for nothing. Some commentators feel Elihu comes across as a brash and arrogant young man who feels he has something to say and merely rehashes the messages of the three friends. But in Job 42:7, God revealed His displeasure not with Elihu, but with the three friends who did not speak what was right about God. It was not that God was ignoring him but that all Elihu said was not rebuked by God. The words of Job 38:1, 2 are by the Lord to Job and not about Elihu, but about Job himself. Job later acknowledges this reproof, Job 42:3. Out of respect because he was young, Elihu waited his turn to speak to Job. But when he does speak, he literally speaks volumes as he surpasses in length the speeches of Job’s friends. But what he speaks he says with spiritual conviction to correct both the friends of Job and Job himself. Elihu was angry against the three friends because of their failure to answer Job or refute him, Job 32:1. All they did was condemn him. They even grasped at straws to figure out what sins Job had done. Job rightly says to them, “Miserable comforters are you all!” Job 16:2. But Elihu was also angry against Job for “justifying himself rather than God,” Job 32:2. Job was not protesting that he was sinless, but that he did not deserve what he was getting thus charging God of acting unjustly. In other words, Job maintained he was right, and that God was not and Job said that his righteousness was more than God’s, Job 35:1. This means Job disregarded God’s honor and had maligned Him. In Job 34:36, Elihu likens Job’s negative words to what wicked men say. Job’s attitude was not right during his suffering. Job was not suffering for some sin he committed, but he was sinning while he was suffering. Elihu addressed Job’s incorrect thinking of God. Elihu then speaks of the mighty God, Job 36 and 37, showing God is greater than man, something Job needed to be reminded of. His purpose was to defend God. Elihu has correctly been portrayed by some as a picture of John the Baptist, announcing the coming of Christ, “making straight the way of the Lord,” Mark 1:2-3. Elihu announces God’s presence and opens the way for God to speak to Job out of the whirlwind, chapters 38-41. In response to God’s message, Job realized he had spoken against God. He repented of his attitude, confessing his sin of saying things he did not understand or know, Job 42:2-6. In conclusion, Elihu’s message to Job was a pointed sermon to prepare his heart for God’s presence.
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