Job 33:1-18

Elihu Claims to Speak for God

33 “However now, Job, please hear my speech,
And listen to all my words.
“Behold now, I open my mouth,
My tongue in my [a]mouth speaks.
“My words are from the uprightness of my heart,
And my lips speak knowledge sincerely.
“The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of [b]the Almighty gives me life.
“Refute me if you can;
Array yourselves before me, take your stand.
“Behold, I belong to God like you;
I too have been [c]formed out of the clay.
“Behold, no fear of me should terrify you,
Nor should my pressure weigh heavily on you.

“Surely you have spoken in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words:
‘I am pure, without transgression;
I am innocent and there is no guilt in me.
10 ‘Behold, He [d]invents pretexts against me;
He counts me as His enemy.
11 ‘He puts my feet in the stocks;
He watches all my paths.’
12 “Behold, let me [e]tell you, you are not right in this,
For God is greater than man.

13 “Why do you complain against Him
That He does not give an account of all His doings?
14 “Indeed God speaks once,
Or twice, yet no one notices it.
15 “In a dream, a vision of the night,
When sound sleep falls on men,
While they slumber in their beds,
16 Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction,
17 That He may turn man aside from his conduct,
And [f]keep man from pride;
18 He keeps back his soul from the pit,
And his life from [g]passing over into Sheol.

Elihu makes a pretty good start in the first passage, and I think he emphasizes something of which we ought to be careful. Many claim to speak for God, yet they miss the mark. Even some with good intentions can lead people astray if they rely on their own wisdom instead of hearing from God. And this is where Elihu begins to get into a bit of trouble, as he flat out tells Job he isn’t right.

Certainly, as Elihu states, God doesn’t need to give an account to anyone. Yet it is tricky business to claim that you know why God is doing something to someone else, when He hasn’t revealed that to them. God can and will confirm his words through others, but if it runs contrary to what He is telling you, tread lightly and check their claims against His words in the Bible.

As Solomon would later say, “in a multitude of counselors, it is established.” That is, if only one person is telling you something, take with a big fat grain of salt! As Elihu himself said, God’s instruction is to correct us, to keep us from pride, and to prevent us from falling into the pit… No matter what, seek God’s wisdom, and ask Him to show you the way to go. Job was right in that part, in appealing directly to God. No, God doesn’t have to tell you “why”, but He loves you too much to let you blindly stumble about in the dark. If you’re seeking Him and really listening for His direction, He will direct your path and you can trust Him through any situation.

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