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Job 35-36:1-26

Talks for Growing Christians

Elihu’s Third and Fourth Speeches Begin

Job 35-36:1-26

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Lesson Number 24

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. In his third speech, Elihu defends God’s authority in His dealings with Job.
  2. In his fourth speech, Elihu defends God’s justice in His dealings with man.

Practical Application

  1. Go positive with Praise!

Questions

  1. In Elihu’s continued speech, what is the main point he is making to Job in verses 4-8 of chapter 35?
  2. In verses 9-16 of chapter 35, what are two of the reasons that Elihu gives as to why God may not always answer prayer?
  3. In chapter 36, Elihu strongly defends God’s justice in his dealings with man. However, in verse 3, a negative characteristic of Elihu is revealed. What is it?
  4. What is Elihu’s understanding of God’s design in suffering (vs 8-10)?
  5. In verses 16-21 of chapter 36, Elihu is not accusing Job of some deliberate act of sin, but he is rebuking Job. Why?

Answers

  1. The main point that Elihu is making to Job in chapter 35:4-8 is that God is transcendent. God is not adversely affected by man’s sin and He is not benefited from man’s righteousness. Therefore, He is not under any obligation to react or respond to the good or bad actions of people.
  2. Elihu points out several reasons why God may not always answer prayer. He says that people may cry out to God when they are in trouble, but do not praise Him as their Creator or as the One who can bring joy (vs 9-11). Another reason may be that people are filled with selfish pride, and in Elihu’s view, just pray empty prayers (vs 12, 13).
  3. While Elihu strongly defends God’s justice in His dealings with man, he does reveal in himself the characteristic of pride. When Elihu says in verse 3 of chapter 36 that he “will fetch my knowledge from afar,” he is saying that he has a wide range of knowledge in contrast to Job.
  4. In verses 8-10, Elihu emphasizes that God’s design in suffering is to get a person to be attentive to what God has to say, and to repent of any pride and evil. The phrase “bound in fetters” and “held in the cords of affliction” in verse 8 is a figurative way of describing the limitations that suffering brings when a person is confined to a bed of sickness.
  5. Elihu, while not accusing Job of some deliberate act of sin, is rebuking Job for his wrong attitude concerning God, the attitude that God is unfair in the way He deals with godly people and ungodly people in this life (vs 16-21).

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss instances where you have been in a group conversation when a believer has turned negative and bitter attitudes into positive and profitable discussion with just a few words of genuine praise toward God. Consider developing a habit of being prepared to offer praise to God in each group conversation in order to prevent the development of ungodly discourse.

Challenge

  1. Have thoughts of praise to God found their way to your lips today? Have you praised Him today for your precious salvation in His Son, for His marvelous creation, for His abundant mercy and grace? Turn any negative or bitter thoughts to words of praise. Go positive with praise!

Key Verses

  • “Behold, God is exalted by His power; who teaches like Him? Remember to magnify His work, of which men have sung. Everyone has seen it; man looks on it from afar.” Job 36:22, 24, 25

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