In chapter 32 a fourth friend enters the picture. He begins a speech which continues through chapter 37. Someone had to intervene, for the discussion between Job and his friends was getting more heated all the time. Thus Elihu appears as a moderator. In this chapter he directs his speech toward Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. He was angry with them because they had condemned Job as a hypocrite, though they had found no reasonable foundation for their arguments. They had declared repeatedly that Job was suffering because of his sin, and that God was judging him because of his lack of repentance. They posed as wise men, offering their counsel. With this Elihu strongly disagreed. He had listened to Job's accusers take advantage of him; now he would stand and speak for the truth.

In chapter 33 Elihu speaks very pointedly to Job. He is concerned that Job listen to everything he has to say, and more concerned that Job will take these things to heart. In verses 8 and 9 he charges that Job has gone too far in his attempt to answer his accusers. Job was a man of purity and high moral standards, but he was still a man. Indeed, he was not what his three friends had declared him to be, a vile, hypocritical sinner. But like all the rest of us, he was human and under the condemnation of sin. Jeremiah 17:9 also applied to Job. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?".

Much of Elihu's speech consisted of his telling Job and his accusers what wonderful things he was going to say! However, like Job's accusers, his chief wisdom was in the use of words which concealed, rather than making plain, what he meant. His main contention seems to have been that suffering is intended of God to be corrective rather than punitive.

Index of Daily Devotions