2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 10, November 26-December 2, The Wrath of Elihu
Wednesday, November 30
Elihu’s defense of God is “a major turning point in the in the direction of the dialogue.” We ought not to be confused, or muddled, by the shallow currents of thought that lead to a casual dismissal of Elihu’s arguments. One must compare this portion of the tale of Job’s struggle in trial and testing to that of Jacob when he wrestled–at first thought with an enemy, but then the realization came–with God Himself. Then Jacob pled for a blessing, stating that he would not let go until he received it. Job would soon find himself also pleading for a blessing for himself and his three friends.
The three friends had been unwitting agents of Satan, accusers of their brother in Christ. As such, they were doing the work of Satan. Now by their silence, they as accusers were cast down. “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” KJV, Revelation 12:10.
But Elihu’s contribution to the discussion is not of this same tone and melody. His message is one that reproves of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. And further evidence that Elihu is speaking on the behalf of God is in the seamless transition from the wrath of Elihu to the whirlwind of God (Job 38:1). Elihu received no rebuttal from Job. The Lord takes up the conversation. And when Job again speaks, it is in humility before the Lord. Finally, when God addresses Job’s friends, Elihu is not among those rebuked (Job 42:7-10).
Note this difference in how Elihu’s message is more like that of the angel wrestling with Jacob. “Suddenly a strong hand was laid upon him. He thought that an enemy was seeking his life, and he endeavored to wrest himself from the grasp of his assailant. In the darkness the two struggled for the mastery. Not a word was spoken, but Jacob put forth all his strength, and did not relax his efforts for a moment. While he was thus battling for his life, the sense of his guilt pressed upon his soul; his sins rose up before him, to shut him out from God. But in his terrible extremity he remembered God’s promises, and his whole heart went out in entreaty for His mercy.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 197.)
Elihu’s argument to Job is succinctly summed up in this charge: “Shall even he that hateth right govern?
and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.” KJV, Job 34:17-19. When the Lord speaks to Job, He raises this point yet again! “Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” KJV, 40:7, 8.