12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice. 14 If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit [a] and breath, 15 all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust.
I agree with Elihu who is countering Job, the hero of this story. So much of what Job’s three friends and now Elihu say is right – and yet I want to root for Job not Elihu. Years ago I expressed verse 14 to people. It may have been back in the youth ministry days and a few times since – but I didn’t know I was quoting Scripture! If God were to remove His Presence from the earth, we’d all die. Satan would just as soon kill us as anything. He hates us. So I struggle with the wisdom and truth found in Job when it is not Job speaking. The crux of the problem may be the wrong conclusions that are added to the truth about God. For instance, Elihu says in Job 34:36-37, “Let Job be tested to the utmost for answering like a wicked man! To his sin he adds rebellion…” This is where Elihu’s theology gets skewed. He knows that only those with sin in their life are dealt life blows like Job has been given. The story of Job tells us that there is more to the story. There is a spiritual realm that we do not see. Things are not always as cut and dry as we like to make them. And we as people often use Scriptural truth to support what we don’t know to be false conclusions… just like Elihu. I want to let Elihu off the hook. Neither he nor Job nor Job’s friends had an ounce of Scripture. They were working from what they could observe from creation. Today we have God’s Word.
The conclusions I draw about life and the Almighty must be drawn from God’s Word. It unveils the truth about what is going on, really… tat there is a spiritual realm and Satan, God’s enemy, who brings difficulty to people. My conclusions need to be at once firmly grounded in God’s Word and also held lightly by me. To be dogmatic when its not called for or beneficial to the Kingdom would be pharisaical.
Father – thank You for Your Word that endures forever. Thank You for the pressure it applies on me, causing me to think and be more refined as Your man. Lord, help me in my convictions in life – that they would reflect Your truth and not my own notions. I want to be perfectly in Your wisdom and truth – not 90% or 95%… but 100%! I am listening, so thank You for teaching me.