Job 36:1 Elihu also proceeded, and said,
2 Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.
3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
4 For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.
5 Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.
6 He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.
7 He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.
8 And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;
9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.
In chapter 36 Elihu has elevated his pride to the place where he now assumed he needed to speak on behalf of God. God does not need us to speak on His behalf. He chooses certain individuals and even certain animals to proclaim His truth. In Psalm 19 God declared:
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
The problem that Elihu was facing was that he was giving his opinion of Who God is and what God has to say. He was guilty of the several warnings that God gives us regarding the adding to or taking away from God’s Word. God expects us to stick to what He has declared. That is certainly what the heavens do. The heavens do not suggest for a moment that there is any merit in evolution. They clearly point to a Creator.
I was speaking with a man this week who watched some vain documentary on TV that stated that certain storms that we face are the result of little people drumming in the spirit world. This was according to a native elder. The man I was speaking with actually believed that lie. I tried to show Him from the Bible that God is the one who controls the weather and He changes the climate at His will and for His glory. There are no little men drumming and causing the rumblings of the thunder or anything else.
Elihu suggested that he would get his knowledge from afar. He claimed that he was going to ascribe righteousness to his Maker.
Elihu suggested that he was going to get his answer directly from God. God did at times speak directly to a person in the Old Testament and during the first century of the New Testament age. Things that He said were always consistent with His character. They always agreed with other things He had said. Elihu had been making so many false statements regarding God already. God would address this attitude in chapter 38:2. After the completion of the written Word of God, God is not speaking audibly or in a vision to anyone. We have the Word of God.
In verses 5-7 Elihu talked about the character of God. God is mighty. He wants all to know Him and to know His authority and greatness. God chose to walk with man and talk to man prior to the fall. After the fall, God still talked with man, but He could no longer walk with the majority of men. In Genesis 4 we see that Cain did not walk with God, nor did Lamech and his descendants. It was after Seth was born and he then had a son named Enos, that people began to call upon the Lord. Chapter 5 gives us the first genealogical record and shows us the blessing of walking with God in the life of Enoch. In Genesis 6 we read that Noah walked with God. God gave Noah instructions regarding the destruction that was coming upon the world and how Noah needed to prepare for this destruction.
God wants man to know Him. The only way that man can know God is through repentance toward Him and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. In the Old Testament, Jesus Christ had not yet come as a man. However, God gave the promise of the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15. Old Testament saints needed to trust in that promise.
God does equip the humble servant of His in many ways. It is also true that the wicked do not have life. They have physical life, but they do not have spiritual life. The Bible tells us that lost people are born dead in trespasses and sins. The Bible also tells us that the lost will face a second death. They will be cast into the lake of fire which is called the second death. They are eternally cut off from the mercy and grace of God. They are left in torment for all eternity.
In verse 7 we read that kings appreciate the righteous. We know that Pharaoh saw the benefit of having Joseph in his court. We know that Nebuchadnezzar appreciated having Daniel and his three friends in his court. Even wicked kings can see the benefit of having a God-fearing man on their side. Of course not all kings will see this and appreciate it. Our current governments do not want God-fearing men anywhere near them. This is not just true of the Liberals. It is also true of the Conservatives and the other parties. We have very foolish leaders at this time. They assume they do not need God. Sadly, there are far too many professing Christians who make a mockery of God.
In verses 8-10 Elihu stated the obvious in regard to God’s care over those who are not treated properly. We know that Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah faced the fiery furnace under king Nebuchadnezzar. We know that Daniel faced the lions in the den under king Darius. However, God delivered them through those trials. The kings involved there learned some important lessons. Both of those kings knew they had done wrong. They were given the opportunity to acknowledge the reality of the true God. The true God was far above their false gods.
Up to this point Elihu has been stating facts that are generally understood, at least by those who have some understanding of God. As we move through this chapter we will see that Elihu did not act upon what he claimed to know about God. He assumed himself to be much wiser than Job. He was what we sometimes refer to as someone who was ‘still wet behind the ears’. We are not given his age, but he acknowledged that he was younger than Job and the other three men. He could have known better, but obviously he had not accepted wise counsel. He may have heard wise counsel, but he did not receive it. The consequences of this was that he would draw faulty conclusions. Elihu had developed his theology somewhere. It was a little different from the other three friends, but it was still false. He had nothing to offer Job.
As we have mentioned several times already, we need to choose wise counsel. We need counsel from those who walk in the fear of the Lord. Job had walked in that way. He had given wise counsel to others in the past. Now, he needed some encouragement to continue on in that way. He had not rejected God as his wife wanted him to. However, he had drawn some wrong conclusions about his current situation and that was causing problems for him. God had been there for Job the entire time. Job did not see that but that did not mean it was not so. God would soon begin to speak directly to Job and show him the need to humble himself and not be assertive toward God. He would prove to be much different from these other men. He would humble himself quickly and realize how out of order he had been. That is a good thing. Pride leads to falling. Humility leads to blessings.