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Job 33

Talks for Growing Christians

Elihu’s First Speech to Job’s Three Friends

Job 33

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Lesson Number 22

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. In his first speech, Elihu requests Job’s case.
  2. In his first speech, Elihu reviews Job’s charge.
  3. In his first speech, Elihu refutes Job’s claim.

Practical Application

  1. Use a person’s name when counseling them!

Questions

  1. In review, Job’s three friends’ accusation against Job was that his suffering was _____________, whereas Elihu maintained that Job’s suffering was _____________. Which accusation was more nearly correct?
  2. How did Elihu describe the words that he would speak to Job?
  3. In which verse does Elihu request to hear Job’s defense? Whose spokesman does Elihu claim to be in verse 6?
  4. Was Elihu stating biblical truth when he reviewed with Job God’s various ways of communicating with man (vs 12-23)?
  5. How does Elihu challenge Job in the final verses of this chapter?

Answers

  1. Job’s three friends’ accusation against Job was that his suffering was punitive, that is, God was punishing Job because of his sin(s), whereas Elihu maintained that Job’s suffering was educational, that is, God was trying to teach Job important lessons. Even though Elihu does not have the complete picture of Job’s situation, he does come closer to the truth in his accusation, and does prepare the ground and pave the way for God to speak directly to Job. 2. 3. 4. 5.
  2. Elihu stated that his words to Job would be true and sincere (v 3) and he would not Lord it over Job with his arguments as the other three counselors had done (v 7).
  3. In verse 5, Elihu requested that Job present his defense to him. Elihu claimed that he was indeed Job’s spokesman before God.
  4. When Elihu stated that God does speak to man in a variety of ways but that man does not always realize that God is communicating to him (v 14), and that God can speak to man in dreams or visions at night (v 15), and that God can speak to man through pain (vs 19-22), he was presenting biblical truth. And, if God does use an angel to communicate with a person (v 23), it is a rare event.
  5. In verses 31-33, Elihu challenges Job to speak up if he has anything to say, and if not, then to keep silent and listen to all that Elihu has to say.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss the variety of ways God has communicated to you individually and to those in your group. Note the Scripture references that confirm as biblical truth the many ways God can and does communicate to believers. Also consider ways that are sometimes claimed to have been experienced but that cannot be confirmed in the Bible.

Challenge

  1. Before you share advice or counsel with another person, do you take time to develop a trusting friendship with them? Do you seek from God compassion and understanding for that person so they will not be offended by your words? Using their name as you speak to them is one important way to help gain their trust and friendship.

Key Verses

  • “But please, Job, hear my speech, and listen to all my words . . . the Spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:1, 4

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