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Job 34

Talks for Growing Christians

Elihu’s Second Speech to Job and His Three Friends

Job 34

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Lesson Number 23

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. In his second speech, Elihu directs Job’s counselors.
  2. In his second speech, Elihu denounces Job’s claim.
  3. In his second speech, Elihu defends God’s justice.
  4. In his second speech, Elihu discusses God’s judgment.
  5. In his second speech, Elihu demands Job’s discipline.

Practical Application

  1. Learn to counsel by listening!

Questions

  1. Who was Elihu addressing in the first fifteen verses of this chapter? What was Elihu suggesting that his listeners will conclude if they would test his words of counsel (v 3)?
  2. Was Elihu correct when he accused Job of associating with wicked people (v 8)? Was Elihu correctly quoting Job when he accused Job of saying that it was not profitable for a person to follow the Lord (v 9)?
  3. In verses 10-20, Elihu defends God’s justice. Identify the first three of Elihu’s points.
  4. In verses 21-30, Elihu discusses God’s judgment. Identify Elihu’s three points.
  5. What was Elihu referring to when he accused Job of clapping his hands (v 37)?

Answers

  1. Because the Hebrew plural is used for “you” in the first fifteen verses of this chapter, we know that Elihu was addressing the three older counselors, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. Elihu was suggesting that if his listeners would test his words of counsel, they would find his analysis of Job’s situation to be the right one.
  2. Elihu wrongly accused Job of associating with wicked people and of saying that it was not profitable for a person to follow the Lord. Job did not associate with wicked people. Job had said that it was wicked people who claimed that it was of no profit to follow God (see chapter 21:14, 15). Elihu was not completely correct in his analysis of Job’s situation.
  3. Elihu defends God’s justice by saying that God does no wrong (v 10), that He gives man what he deserves and that this is not unjust (v 11), and that injustice is contrary to God’s character (v 12).
  4. In his discussion of God’s judgment, Elihu states that because God is omniscient, there is no wickedness that is hidden from Him (vs 21-23), that the wicked have turned their back on God and do not consider His ways (vs 24-27), and that when it appears that God is not fair in His judgment, it is because man does not have the whole picture of the situation (vs 28-30).
  5. When Elihu said that Job “claps his hands among us,” he was referring to Job clapping his hands to silence those around him who were trying to defend God, and that this was another indication of Job’s rebellious attitude (v 37).

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss why it is important to understand that advice from a counselor may be only in part correct and worthy, even when the counselor is trying to be sincere. For this reason consider the importance of receiving counsel from more than one person, and the means to properly find and choose trustworthy and proven counselors.

Challenge

  1. Have you had the opportunity to listen to other counselors as they have given advice to someone in need? Have you asked to be taught by counselors who are well trained and experienced? You can become a much more competent counselor when you are willing to listen to others. Learn to counsel by listening!

Key Verses

  • “Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to commit iniquity. Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert justice. Job 34:10, 12

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