Job – Chapter 36: Elihu Is Not Done Yet

In Job Chapter 35 Elihu tells us Job is wicked and therefore God won’t answer his pleas.  Elihu is still not done speaking, so let’s see what he has to say in Chapter 36.

“Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.” – Job 36:2

Excuse me if I remain skeptical, but Elihu is now on his fifth chapter and has said nothing more than “Job is wicked, God is great, and God works in mysterious ways.”

“Be assured that my words are not false; one perfect in knowledge is with you.” – Job 36:4

Elihu is now describing himself as perfect in knowledge.  Yet I thought only God was perfect?  Man is always imperfect?  This is a very odd verse that is supposed to justify Elihu’s comments, but to me, it just adds more questions to Elihu’s validity.

“God is mighty, but does not despise men; He is mighty, and firm in His purpose.” – Job 36:5

God doesn’t despise men?  Really?!?!?  Has Elihu paid any attention to Job’s plight?  The death of Job’s livestock, servants, and children?  The painful sores all over Job’s body?  If that’s not God despising Job, I don’t know what is.

“But if men are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction, He tells them what they have done—that they have sinned arrogantly.” – Job 36:8-9

Elihu is drunk or really has paid no attention to Job’s condition.  Job is the one bound by chains and held fast by cords of affliction.  Yet God has said not one word to Job, in direct contradiction to Elihu’s supposed perfect knowledge.

“If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.  But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge.” – Job 36:11-12

This is more of the “good things happen to good people, bad things happen to bad people argument.”  If you are suffering of some disease, for example, and you give yourself to God, you will live happily ever after.  If not, you will die a horrible death.  What if you do give your life to God and still die horribly?  I guess you didn’t give enough of yourself over to God.  God is never at fault.  If things don’t work out perfectly, you are the one at fault.  God is perfect.  Man sucks.  It’s the perfect excuse Christians use to explain away bad things in life.

“The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when He fetters them, they do not cry for help.  They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines.” – Job 36:13-14

I guess I’m fated to die among male prostitutes!  LOL!

“God is exalted in His power.  Who is a teacher like Him?” – Job 36:22

I’m going to start by looking at anyone who hasn’t killed an innocent child.  In my view, that’s the only criteria needed to be a better teacher than God.

“Who has prescribed His ways for Him, or said to Him, ‘You have done wrong?’” – Job 36:23

Um…me, and everyone else who thinks murdering innocent children is wrong.

“How great is God—beyond our understanding!  The number of His years is past finding out.” – Job 36:26

Again, if God exists and we don’t understand Him, He must work in mysterious ways.  An ounce of critical thinking reveals the nonsense in that argument.

“Who can understand how He spreads out the clouds, how He thunders from his pavilion?” – Job 36:29

Meteorologists, for starters.  Anyone with basic science knowledge can tell you how and why it rains/thunders.  God isn’t needed to explain that.

“See how He scatters his lightning about Him, bathing the depths of the sea.  This is the way He governs the nations and provides food in abundance.”  – Job 36:30-31

Yes, God governs with fear as any good…er…horrible parent does.  🙂

To conclude this chapter, Elihu tells us several things about God that are in direct contradiction to the obviously clear plight of Job.  Elihu then asks several questions that are all easily answerable with a tiny bit of critical thinking.  Elihu has one more chapter in him before God finally speaks!  Yes, at long last, God is about to speak!!!

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 37:  Elihu Finishes

Job – Chapter 35: Elihu Continues Speaking

In Job Chapter 34 Elihu tells the story of how God is great and God is awesome and God is super duper good, completely ignoring the fact God killed Job’s innocent children.  What ‘wisdom’ will Elihu deliver us in Chapter 35?

“He does not answer when men cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked.  Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea, the Almighty pays no attention to it.” – Job 35:12-13

Again, Job is described as the exact opposite of wicked.  He was described as the “greatest man in the east”.  God is the one who punished Job.  Job’s pleas are not empty.  Job is ready to serve his just punishment if only he knew what he did wrong.  Why is that too much to ask of God?

There’s really not much else to say about this chapter.  Elihu basically tells Job and his friends that God is ignoring Job because Job is wicked and wicked people don’t deserve God.  Whatever.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 36:  Elihu Is Not Done Yet

Job – Chapter 34: Elihu Continues

In Job Chapter 33 Elihu tells us God does answer our questions, but in ways we are unaware.  How convenient.  In addition, God delivers us pain and suffering to help us see the light.  Makes no sense, but remember, God works in mysterious ways.  🙂  Elihu begins by repeating a few of Job’s earlier statements, providing context for his ‘wisdom’.  Elihu then says:

“Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong.” – Job 34:10

All of Job proves this statement wrong.  We’ve seen God do evil over and over to Job.  God killed Job’s children.  Let’s assume Job did evil, although we have no evidence of that.  That may be justification to punish Job, but to kill Job’s children?  That’s an evil God in action.

“He repays a man for what he has done, He brings upon him what his conduct deserves.” – Job 34:11

The Bible describes, early in the Book of Job, Job as the “greatest man in the east.”  The “greatest man in the east” deserved a dead family and painful sores?  If that’s the case, I can’t even imagine what an “average man in the east” deserves.

“It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.” – Job 34:12

Killing children is the exact definition of doing wrong and perverting justice.  Granted, Satan is the one who did the deed, but God gave Satan His blessing.

“Will you condemn the just and mighty One?” – Job 34:17

When the just and mighty One kills innocent children for the father’s deeds (again no evidence for these wrongful deeds), then yes, we have every right to condemn Him.

“There is no dark place, no deep shadow, where evildoers can hide.” – Job 34:22

Maybe, but the good-doers need a place to hide, as Job and his innocent children can attest.

“Suppose a man says to God, ‘I am guilty but I will offend no more.’” – Job 34:31

No one is saying a guilty man should go unpunished.  Job, however, does not know what he did.  Job has said that he will gladly suffer the punishment if he only knew what he did.  Elihu ignores this in his response to Job.

Elihu’s argument in Chapter 34 is that of a perfect God doing no wrong.  In Elihu’s eyes, God can do no wrong and therefore Job is the one at fault here.  There are several counter-arguments to this, but to me, God killing innocent children is the counter-argument that destroys all.  God cannot be good and/or just if He defends killing innocent children.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 35:  Elihu Continues Speaking

Job – Chapter 33: Elihu Gets to the Point

Chapter 32 brought us Elihu, a new character who is upset at Job and his friends for misunderstanding the truth of the matter.  Elihu assures us he has the truth and will soon give us the point of his appearance.  However, he babbles on for several verses and doesn’t reveal his point before the end of the chapter.  Will Chapter 33 bring us Elihu’s point?  Let’s hope so.

“But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say.  I am about to open my mouth; my words are on the tip of my tongue.” – Job 33:1-2

I really hope Elihu doesn’t continue like this.  I’m not sure I can stand another 30+ verses of Elihu stating he’s about to tell us something.  🙂

“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” – Job 33:4

If there is a God, then the Spirit of God made all men (and women).  This doesn’t separate Elihu from anyone and should by no means be a justification for accepting Elihu’s hopefully soon to come words.  Elihu spends the next couple of verses repeating statements from Job to provide context for his words.  Then Elihu says:

“But I tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than man.  Why do you complain to Him that He answers none of man’s words?” – Job 33:12-13

No one is disputing God is greater than man.  However, God, through no fault of Job’s, delivered great harm to Job.  God says nothing to Job.  Job has every right to question God.  God doesn’t have to respond, that is true, but a just God would respond.

“For God does speak—now one way, now another—though man may not perceive it.” – Job 33:14

In other words, we are supposed to accept that God works in mysterious ways.  If we don’t get the answer we want to our prayers, we are supposed to simply accept that God answered our prayers in ways unknown to us.  This is not a proof or even a defense of God’s existence.  Someone saying that God works in mysterious ways is someone unwilling to critically think through a problem.

“…when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, He may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride.” – Job 33:15-17

Why does an all-powerful God need to terrify men to keep them from doing evil?  An all-powerful God should be able to come up with a much more effective method of keeping men from doing evil.

“Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones, so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal.” – Job 33:19-20

This is how God chooses to speak to man?  Through pain?  What kind of God is this?  Not a just God.  Not a good God.  Not a compassionate God.

“Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him, to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit.’” – Job 33:23-24

Who is the God in this scenario?  Apparently God is Satan, doing evil on man and angels are just Gods doing good for man.  Apparently praying to God and asking for forgiveness isn’t enough.  God only answers your prayers if an angel is by your side as a mediator between you and God.

“God does all these things to man—twice, even three times—to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.” – Job 33:29-30

God, you see, is only punishing you through painful methods for your own good.  An all-powerful God can only make men see the light if He first punishes them and terrifies them into obeying.  Again, God proves He is a horrible parent.

In conclusion, Elihu tells us that God does answer our questions, but in mysterious ways.  God puts great harm and pain on us, but only in an effort to make us see the light.  This is not a just God.  This is an evil God toying with humans for His own pleasure.  If this God exists, I want nothing to do with Him.  It’s hard to tell the difference between this God and Satan.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 34:  Elihu Continues

Job – Chapter 32: Elihu

Job Chapter 31 provided the very first proof that God exists!  What is that proof you ask?  After 31 chapters, Job is done speaking!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  LOL!  That means we’re done with Job, right?  Unfortunately no.  There are still several chapters left in Job.  Chapter 32 brings us the words of a new character, Elihu.  So who is Elihu?  Apparently some other guy angry at Job.

“But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.” – Job 32:2

You’re late to the party Elihu.  God punished Job through Satan.  Job did NOTHING wrong.  The Bible clearly stated early in Job that Job is the greatest man in the east.  Job has every right to justify himself over God.  Besides, if God is an all-powerful being, why does He need justifying?  Not only is Elihu mad at Job, he’s mad at the three friends for failing to convince Job to somehow place more faith in God.

“He was also angry with the three friends, because they found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.” – Job 32:3

We also learn Elihu is younger than Job and his three friends.

“I am young in years and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.  I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’” – Job 32:6-7

Where has Elihu been this whole time?  If he was listening to the conversation before, he’d know that wisdom only comes through death or fear of God, not from age.  Now, Elihu does go on to say:

“But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.” – Job 32:8

Okay, yes, the breath of the Almighty, but only if you FEAR God as we learned earlier.  God only gives understanding to those who fear Him.  Such a kind, loving God.

“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.” – Job 32:17

Yes, we know, you’ve said this several times already.  Get to the point!  The Bible would be several hundred, if not a thousand pages shorter if the characters would just get to the point.  🙂

And Elihu’s point is….sorry, going to have to wait to the next chapter as Elihu just spent verse 6-22 saying that he has something to say without actually saying what that something is (head banging into wall, repeatedly).

To conclude Chapter 32, Elihu arrives angry at Job and his three friends.  Elihu argues that the friends have not convinced Job of true faith in God.  However, Elihu doesn’t get to the point, so we don’t actually know what he has to say until the next chapter.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 33:  Elihu Gets to the Point

Job – Chapter 31: Job’s Almost Done Talking

Job Chapter 30 brought us more questions from Job as to why God hasn’t answered.  Let’s see what Chapter 31 brings us.

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”  – Job 31:1

Job made a covenant with his eyes?  Maybe that’s the problem.  Maybe Job should start looking lustfully at girls and this will spur God into action!  🙂

“If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit—let God weigh me in honest scales and He will know that I am blameless—if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled, then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted.” – Job 31:5-8

Job is laying the claim that God’s punishment is unjust.  He’s claiming that he is blameless, as we knew at the very beginning of the book of Job.  Job goes on for several verses saying that if he did this or that sin, then by all means punish him, but Job does not know what he did wrong.

“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!  I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing.  Surely I would wear it on my shoulder, I would put it on like a crown.” – Job 31:35-36

Job is more than willing to accept and serve God’s punishment against him, if only Job knew what that punishment was for.  Job simply wants to know why God has punished him, yet God refuses to answer.  Is God a just God?  If so, would a just God punish without first stating the crime?  My answer is no.  Therefore the God described in the book of Job is clearly an unjust God.

“The words of Job are ended.” – Job 31:40

Finally, proof there is a God!!!  🙂  LOL!  Okay, maybe not, but Job is done talking.  We’ll next here from a new character and eventually hear from God.  There are still a few chapters in Job left, but we are nearing the end.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 32:  Elihu

Job – Chapter 30: Job Talking Some More

In Job Chapter 29 Job mentions the good he has done in the world but points out that God still chose to punish him.  Chapter 30 brings a different tone from Job.  Job starts out stating how young men are mocking him.

“But now they mock me, men younger than I,…” – Job 30:1

Does God choose to punish these young men?  Nope.  He continues to punish Job.  It’s not as if God doesn’t punish people for mocking others.  Later in the Bible we’ll see a group of children mocking a bald man.  God sends down a bear to kill and eat the children.

Job continues pointing out what others are doing to him and how others view him.  Eventually he says:

“I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.” – Job 30:20

Herein lies the problem.  Why does God not respond?  Is He proving a point?  If so, there are many simpler, clearer ways, to prove this point.  We will hear from God soon, but that won’t excuse God from His actions against Job.  More on this in later chapters of Job.

“Have I not wept for those in trouble?  Has not my soul grieved for the poor?  Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.” – Job 30:25-26

So much for that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people business we learned about early.  Job provides the evidence that good things happen to bad people sometimes and bad things happen to good people sometimes.

In conclusion, Job continues pleading with God and pointing out the bad things God has placed upon Job.  God still refuses to answer, leaving everyone to guess His purpose.  I guess we just have to say that God works in mysterious ways.  🙂

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 31:  Job’s Almost Done Talking

Job – Chapter 29: Job Talks Even More

In Job Chapter 28 we learned from Job that the only way to receive true wisdom is to fear God.  Job continues speaking in Chapter 29.  If wisdom can only be received through fear of God, I’m not sure what more we could possibly learn from Job, but let’s see.  🙂

“How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head and by his light I walked through darkness!” – Job 29:2-3

And to think, God has done all of this to Job, despite Job being the greatest man in the east.  God could have chosen a criminal, but instead he chose a good man to punish.

“…when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,…” – Job 29:5

Let us not forget that God, through Satan, killed Job’s children.

“Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.” – Job 29:11-12

As far as we know, Job helped the poor and the needy, yet God’s ‘reward’ to Job?  Dead children, servants, and livestock, along with sores all over Job’s body.  Nice job God.  Again, why not chose an actual criminal to punish?

“After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears.  They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as spring rain.  When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.” – Job 29:22-24

Hold it right there Job.  I was backing you up earlier in this chapter, but now your head is becoming a bit inflated with hot air.  🙂

That concludes Job Chapter 29.  Job points out all the good he has done, overdoing it just a bit near the end, but God doesn’t reward Job.  God doesn’t even ignore Job.  Instead, God punishes Job.  There are plenty of criminals and/or unbelievers God could have chosen to send a very clear message, but he chooses Job, a great man, to punish.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 30:  Job Talking Some More

Job – Chapter 28: More Talk From Job

In Chapter 27 Job seems to have forgotten the pain and suffering God has caused him.  Job spends the whole chapter praising God and ‘teaching’ others of the evils of disobeying God’s will.  Job continues on in Chapter 28.

Job begins by using a discussion of men searching for treasures in the Earth as an analogy to how hard it is to search for and find wisdom.

“But where can wisdom be found?  Where does understanding dwell?  Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.” – Job 28:12-13

Don’t worry about educating yourself.  There’s no need to finish high school or go to college.  All of that learning won’t earn you the tiniest bit of wisdom.  Only death brings true wisdom.  Um, okay.  I think I’ll stick with college, a good job, and food on the table.

“It (wisdom) cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighted in silver.” – Job 28:15

Job and I are in agreement on this.  Money does not bring wisdom or happiness.

“God understands the way to it (wisdom) and He alone knows where it dwells…” – Job 28:23

God wants his people to be dumb.  The better to worship Him!  As we become educated, the myth of God slowly reveals itself.  God doesn’t want that, therefore better He work to keep us dumb.

“And He said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’” – Job 28:28

What the…?  True wisdom is fearing God?  What kind of God is this that we are told to worship if He demands fear from us?  Not the kind of God I want to know.

In conclusion, Job continues praising God, but this time through a riddle on how to find wisdom.  In the end, the only way to know true wisdom is either through death or by fearing God.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 29:  Job Talks Even More

Job – Chapter 27: Job Continues

It seems like my analysis of Job has been going on forever, but there is an end in sight.  I’m more than halfway through Job before moving back to Genesis.  In the last chapter Job showed a few signs of reasonableness, but then tossed it away by continuing to describe all the awesome things God can supposedly do.  He continues in Chapter 27.

“…as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.” – Job 27:3-4

Give Job credit for his stubbornness.  He’s willing to stick with God despite all God has done to him and that’s the message the book of Job attempts to send to readers.  Stick with God and have faith and all will be better, in some way, and some time.  How many people take that to their death bed never having received help from God?  How much better could their lives have been had they opened up their eyes and faced the truth of the situation?

“For what hope has the godless when he is cut off, when God takes away his life?” – Job 27:8

I have to admit that the Bible does a great job tying in to peoples’ fears of the unknown.  The Bible says that we may not know what happens after death, but have faith it will be horrible if you haven’t given yourself over to God.  I argue that’s probably the biggest thing keeping people from becoming Atheists.  They’re too afraid of the unknown after death.  Fortunately, with a bit of critical thinking, we can conclude there is no afterlife, or if there is a God, an all-powerful God will respect those who thought things through, even if their conclusions were wrong.

“I will teach you about the power of God…” – Job 27:11

What gives Job the authority to do this?  How does he know about the power of God?  We learned in Job Chapter 26 that:

“Who then can understand the thunder of His power?” – Job 26:14

One chapter later Job now understands the power of God enough to teach us?  That’s quite the contradiction with both verses on the very same page of the Bible!

“Here is the fate God allots to the wicked, the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty: However many his children, their fate is the sword; his offspring will never have enough to eat.” – Job 27:13-14

Again, why does God punish the children of the wicked?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to punish the wicked?  What is accomplished by punishing children who likely had nothing to do with the evil deeds of their mother or father?  Again, we have God, the worst parent in the Universe.  The remaining verses in Chapter 27 do discuss punishment to the wicked, but this doesn’t explain the need to punish the offspring of the wicked.

To conclude, Chapter 27 brought us a big contradiction.  A chapter earlier Job doesn’t understand the power of God, but now he does.  It also brought us more of the theme that the wicked will be punished.  As I’ve said before, open your eyes for 30 seconds and you can clearly tell that being wicked or evil does not always result in a punishment.  Finally, dear children of the world, pray that your parents do no evil, for if they do, your remaining life will be made horrible by God.  That’s the Bible for you.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 28:  More Talk From Job