Thursday, January 26, 2012

Job 34 & 35 - Elihu Speaks of God's Justice and Sovereignty

LINK: Job 34 & 35

BACKGROUND

Yes, Elihu is still talking. He talks longer than the three other friends combined.

These chapters contain his second and third speeches.

In review:

His first speech in Job 33 refutes Job's claim that God is silent and does not respond to him (13:33) by claiming that God does speak through dreams and pain.

His second speech in Job 34 refutes Job's claim that God is unjust because He does not relieve Job of his suffering (19:6-7, 27:2) by claiming that God is just.

His third speech in Job 35 refutes Job's claim that God is unconcerned because He does not reward Job for his innocence (10:7) by claiming that God is sovereign.

REFLECTION

When I was fairly young in the Lord, a very wise and well-respected preacher came to preach at my church and said something profound, "The Bible says that God is just, but it does not say that He is fair." As I have read the book of Job this January, I have often thought about this man's wise words. God is not fair, and there is a big difference between fairness and justice, and we better get this straight in our minds before we can really begin to have an accurate view of God. I think the book of Job helps us to grapple with this.
Elihu emphasized that God is sovereign, and a sovereign God can be indicted by no law or judged by no court. The king can do no wrong. God was not appointed to His throne, so He can’t be taken from it (Job 34:13). To say that God is unjust is to say that He is not God and therefore has no right to be on the throne. But God controls our very breath and can take our lives away in an instant (vv. 14–15; Acts 17:25, 28). “It is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not” (Lam. 3:22).  
 (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1991). Be patient. An Old Testament study. (Job 34:1). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.)
This diagram from the Life Application Bible explains it so well:

God's Jusitce
(View a larger picture HERE.)
What, then, is the God I worship?...You are the most hidden from us and yet the most present among us, the most beautiful and yet the most strong, ever enduring; and yet we cannot comprehend you. -- St. Augustine
Do you see God as just or fair? Do you see Him as sovereign and good in all your circumstances? As the above says, the correct response is to appeal directly to Him. If you cannot wrap your mind around this, you are not alone. Many people struggle with this. I strongly encourage you to talk to God about this and really listen to what He says. Let Him reveal Himself to you today!

PRAYER

Lord, we praise You that You are a just God. Thank You that You are 100% sovereign and good in everything that comes our way, and that we can trust You to be 100% good. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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