Elihu jumps into the content of his speech with this chapter. Most of this opening portion addressed to Job, Elihu spends telling Job to be quiet and listen to him as he will teach him wisdom. He does give the option for Job to answer him if he can but quickly seems to assume he can’t and just continues with his speech.
Not the best way to offer counsel to someone who is suffering or someone even who is simply your elder.
The main thrust to Elihu’s statement here is that our suffering is God speaking to us and if we will listen and learn what He is telling us in our suffering then we will be restored.
This is partially true. God is at work in our suffering to be sure. God speaks to us in His Word as He will Job soon. His Word provides us with all we need to understand and accept the suffering in our life as we come to know Him and trust Him.
A partial truth presented as a full-truth is false.
Even more Elihu still presumes Job’s personal guilt (10-12) stands behind his suffering.
Elihu’s premise is actually quite dangerous… We are supposed to be able to hear, discern, understand and respond to God speaking to us – not through His Word, but through our experience. This is entirely subjective and relative. There is no authority in our interpretation of our experiences or our suffering. Authority is found in the Word of God.
God’s Word may give us an understanding of the specific purpose or meaning to some particular experience of suffering. Often it does not. Yet like God’s Word to Job, God’s Word always gives us a more clear understanding of Him and calls us to trust Him with our unanswered questions.
We do need to hear God speak in the midst of our suffering and we can hear Him speak as we open His Word and by His Spirit have our minds renewed.
Soli Deo Gloria
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