Elihu's Speech (Part 2)
As Job 33 begins, Elihu speaks a few words of kindness to Job before he begins his argument. This was an approach Job's other friends seem to have forgotten. "I also have been formed out of clay. Surely no fear of me will terrify you, nor will my hand be heavy on you" (33:6,7). Elihu acknowledges the common ground between he and Job; they were both made from the dust of the earth.

Elihu then proceeds to summarize what he believes Job has said thus far:

"Surely you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the sound of your words, saying, 'I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me. Yet He finds occasions against me, He counts me as His enemy; He puts my feet in the stocks, He watches all my paths'" (Job 33:8-11).

Elihu has missed Job's point. Job has admitted transgressions (e.g., 7:21; 13:26), and he knew how to seek God's forgiveness for the sins he did commit (cf. Job 1:5). With those thoughts in mind, Job cannot understand why he is receiving such treatment from God. He earnestly desires to comprehend the reason why. Job has pointed out that if God was punishing him for sin (as the friends have declared repeatedly), then God is unjust. Job has lived many years as a righteous man. We were told in Job 1 & 2 that he was a righteous man. Job does not know of anything he has suddenly done to merit this treatment. This is why he would argue that God is unjust if He is afflicting Job because of sin. It is true that Job has claimed God is watching him carefully (cf. 31:4). Job wonders why God deems him worthy of this negative attention now when he has not changed and has enjoyed positive attention from God for so long.

Elihu declares - "God is greater than man. Why do you contend with Him?" (Job 33:12,13). Job knows God is greater than man, but he won't master this lesson until chapter 42.

"For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night...Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, and with strong pain in many of his bones, so that his life abhors bread, and his soul succulent food. His flesh wastes away from sight, and his bones stick out which once were not seen. Yes, his soul draws near the Pit, and his life to the executioners" (Job 33:14,15,19-22).

Elihu believes God communicates with mankind in various ways, sometimes through dreams and sometimes through physical suffering! Job, God is communicating with you via your agony. He is trying to turn you from your sins (cf. 33:17). You just don't realize it, Job!

According to Elihu in 33:27,28, man just needs to say, "I have sinned," and God will redeem him. God allows man to suffer so that he will repent and then be restored ("his life shall see the light" - 33:28). There is much truth in what Elihu says, but it simply doesn't apply in Job's case. Job is not suffering because of his sins.

This section closes with Elihu telling the great patriarch that he has Job's best interests in mind. "I desire to justify you" (33:32), so hear me out, Job!