21 “For His eyes are upon the ways of a man,
And He sees all his steps.
22 “There is no darkness or deep shadow
Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
23 “For He does not need to consider a man further,
That he should go before God in judgment.
24 “He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry,
And sets others in their place.
25 “Therefore He knows their works,
And He overthrows them in the night,
And they are crushed.
26 “He strikes them like the wicked
[f]In a public place,
27 Because they turned aside from following Him,
And had no regard for any of His ways;
28 So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him,
And that He might hear the cry of the afflicted—
29 When He keeps quiet, who then can condemn?
And when He hides His face, who then can behold Him,
That is, in regard to both nation and man?—
30 So that godless men would not rule
Nor be snares of the people.
31 “For has anyone said to God,
‘I have borne chastisement;
I will not offend anymore;
32 Teach me what I do not see;
If I have done iniquity,
I will not do it again’?
33 “Shall He recompense on your terms, because you have rejected it?
For you must choose, and not I;
Therefore declare what you know.
34 “Men of understanding will say to me,
And a wise man who hears me,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge,
And his words are without wisdom.
36 ‘Job ought to be tried [g]to the limit,
Because he answers like wicked men.
37 ‘For he adds rebellion to his sin;
He claps his hands among us,
And multiplies his words against God.’”
Elihu continues to paint God as one without compassion or mercy, and claims that Job’s words are akin to rebellion because Job dares to ask God to show him the error of his ways. That’s a silly thing to say, for we ought often to examine our hearts and ask God to show us the flaws that may not be obvious.
Perhaps we, like the rich young ruler, might say we’ve kept the ten commandments. But there’s more to living for God than just following a few rules. Living for Him is about finding His heart and making our own like it. It is about living like Jesus did, submitting his will to the Father, and that’s a tall order for anyone. We cannot and do not manage that on our own, but only by relying on Him to illuminate our path and guide our steps.
Along the way, we all will make mistakes. Yet it is a mistake to think that God is just waiting with his hammer of justice to smash us to pieces. He knows our heart, and he also sees the future clear as day. Still God calls us to himself and is patient with us through all our missteps. So follow Him, and every day ask Him to mold your heart to be more like His. As Micah wrote, “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?”