Suffering Through the Lenses of Job, Lesson 5: Elihu

Elihu (610x352)Intro

Throughout his suffering, Job’s understanding his Redeemer gave him hope. Job knew that his suffering here did not define him. He knew that in His flesh he would see God. The resurrection of the body enabled Job to remain in the faith, even as his fallen body suffered and betrayed him.


A Fourth Friend Enters the Fray: Elihu

Job’s three friends all came to similar conclusion about Job: God was punishing Job for some sin. Eliphaz came to this conclusion because of a vision he had while he slept (Job 4:12-17). Bildad did so because of what the wisdom of the ages had taught him (Job 8:8-10). Zophar didn’t say why he came to the same conclusion—but he did say that Job wasn’t suffering enough (Job 11:6)!

Read Job 32:1-7

  • How does Elihu approach Job’s suffering?


Elihu’s Understanding of Suffering

Read Job 33:19-25

“angel”: malak, a messenger, who is sometimes a heavenly being. The Old Testament even uses “angel” to refer to God, such as Genesis 48:15,16; Exodus 3:2, 6; 23:20-23; Judges 13:8, 22; Hosea 12:3-4.

  • What role does suffering have in the life of God’s people? (vs 23, it hinges on the word “if”)


1 Timothy 2:5: There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.

  • Because of the “ransom,” what now happens to the man who was “going down into the pit”?


1 Corinthians 15:53: For this decaying body must be clothed with what cannot decay, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality.

Read Job 33:26

“man”: In Job 33:26, the ESV reads, “Then man prays to God.” The Hebrew says, “Then he prays to God.”

Pastor’s translation: and he [the angel] prays to God and he [God] is pleased and he [God] sees his [the angel’s] face with a shout of joy and he [God] brings back to man his [God’s] righteousness.

  • What is the difference between the mediator praying to God versus the “man” praying to God?


  • Based on “he” praying to God, what does God then do? (vs. 25-26)


It’s only after God brings back His righteousness to the man that the man then responds.

Read Job 33:27-28

  • What is the response of the man whom God has restored to His righteousness?


What Elihu implied earlier (by “if”) he now states more clearly.

Read Job 36:15-16

  • If suffering in itself does not deliver us, how then can Elihu say what he says?


  • In a New-Covenant context, how does suffering “allure” us a “table full of fatness”? (Think of the Old-Covenant sacrifices where the choicest parts were burned, the fat, and the New covenant fulfillment of those sacrifices.)


Elihu Points Job to What is to Come

Read Job 37:14-20

  • To what aspect of God does Elihu point?


  • Why is it impossible for us to “draw up our case” before God?


After mentioning “darkness,” Elihu points Job and his three friends to the light.

Read Job 37:21-24

Psalm 48:2: Beautiful in its loftiness, is the joy of the whole earth: Mount Zion on the slopes of the north, the city of the great King.

  • In the first part of vs. 22, how do we know that Elihu isn’t simply referring to the sun?


  • When God does comes “great in power,” what will that cause? (vs. 24)


Mark 13:26: Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

  • Who will be deep trouble on that Day? (vs 24)


Luke 21:28: But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is near!

  • For those who are not wise in themselves (that is, they have the wisdom of Christ), what is their reaction on that Day?


Another Look at Suffering in the New-Covenant’s Light

Read 1 Peter 2:21-25

  • Christ’s suffering is an example so we would do what? (vs. 21)


  • Whose suffering and wounds heal us? (vs. 24)


  • When we suffer and follow in Christ’s steps, to whom do we return?


  • What role does suffering then play in the life of the Christian?


Romans 8:24: For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

Read Romans 5:1-5

  • When we mature in the faith where suffering points us to hope, what is the result of that hope?


  • How does what Paul say mirrors that of Elihu?


Prayer: Psalm 27

P The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear?

C The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid?

P When evildoers attack me to devour my flesh,

C when my adversaries and enemies attack me, they will stumble and fall.

P Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;

C though a war break out against me, even then will I trust.

P One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:

C to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,

P gazing on the beauty of the Lord

C and seeking Him in His temple.

P For He will conceal me in His shelter on the day of danger;

C He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

P Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger.

C Do not leave me or abandon me, O God of my salvation. Psalm 27:1-5, 9


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