Elihu, Job’s “friend,” continues his argument in which he slams Job for his wickedness, explaining to Job that if he had not sinned, he would have prospered. He errantly tells Job that since he’s been so bad and walks with workers of iniquity, God is punishing him. This is terrible theology.
Granted, God does discipline His children, but because of the fact that we live in a broken world – often times the righteous suffer innocently. The fallen world and fallen Devil and his demons will oppose the righteous every step of the way. Paul the Apostle wrote these words to his young protege Timothy:
2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV) “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Elihu was ignorant of this truth, he told Job that God was repaying him:
Job 34:11 (NKJV) “For He repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way.”
He tells Job that God sees all his secret sins:
Job 34:21–22 (NKJV) “For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps. 22 There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.”
It’s true, God DOES see everything, but Job was blameless. Elihu’s words were not applicable to Job’s situation. Jesus warned us not to judge situations superficially:
John 7:24 (NKJV) “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Can you believe Elihu considered himself to be a man “perfect in knowledge?” Elihu has in himself the roots of heresy that continues today, the health, wealth, and prosperity teachings:
Job 36:11–14 (NKJV) “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. 12 But if they do not obey, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge. 13 “But the hypocrites in heart store up wrath; they do not cry for help when He binds them. 14 They die in youth, and their life ends among the perverted persons.”
Elihu ultimately told Job that if he didn’t repent, God would kill him (Job 36:18).
Elihu was wrong – all of Job’s friends were wrong. Job was suffering because he loved the Lord and he loved his family. God help us to be careful not to play God in the lives of others. He alone knows all the “whys” in life and motives of the heart. Let’s let God be God, let’s comfort people with words of kindness, even give them room to vent and pour out their heart – especially if they’re suffering. God does, He’s not insecure, He is able to heal their broken hearts…and bring them around with cords of kindess.
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Do you ever feel like giving up? Please don’t do it!
In this chapter Paul talks about the ministry he’s received in the Lord. He lives to glorify God and to serve the people, so he has it in his heart to never give up.
You may not be an Apostle, but you do have a ministry given to you by God. Do you believe that? I hope so. May that encourage you also to never give up. Even though it is extremely difficult at times. Our emotions and feelings fluctuate greatly, but may our convictions and faith, “steady-on.”
Maybe some were accusing Paul of being insincere. He explains in 1 Corinthians 4:2 that he has no secret sin, no hidden agenda, he does the best he can to live truthfully with every man.
Maybe he was dealing with discouragement because not everyone was receiving the Gospel, but he explains in 1 Corinthians 4:3 that the reason some rejected the Gospel is because they were blind and perishing – if they did believe, the light of the Lord Jesus would shine in their hearts. Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 4:5 that he preached Jesus to them, and that’s all we’re called to do as preachers…we leave the results in God’s hands.
I love the way Paul connects God’s command in Genesis 1 (“let there be light,”) – to the way He speaks light into our hearts, revealing and bringing us face to face with the glory of God, who is none other than Jesus Christ.
We have this treasure (Jesus and His glorious gospel) in us! This should be an encouragement through all the crazy and difficult times we will experience in life.
What was true for Paul is true for us (see Jesus’ promise in John 16:33). We’re hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we’re perplexed, but not in despair; we’re persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Paul was given a ton of trials and tribulations, but never too much for him to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). As a matter of fact, Paul goes on to say that all these things were doing a good work in-and-through him. Basically, what was going on, is he was taking up his cross, he was dying…dying to self, so that the life of Christ would be manifested through Him. It was death for him (Paul) that would lead to life for others – this is the life of a true minister.
It’s a blessing to look back, to see what God has done in generations past, and then to look forward, pray, and ask that God would do it for us as well; that He would once again move in our generation.
This contemplation of the sons of Korah is that type of Psalm, knowing that it wasn’t the people who gave Israel the land, it wasn’t their own arm, or their own sword, it was God’s favor, it was God’s right arm! So they pray:
Psalm 44:4–5 (NKJV) “You are my King, O God; Command victories for Jacob. 5 Through You we will push down our enemies; through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us.”
It doesn’t mean we do nothing, we do – but we fight from victory (not for victory) – through God we push down our enemies and trample those demons who rise against us.
God help us to believe and to behave with that wisdom from above as we wage war here below.
Proverbs 22:10 (NKJV) “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; yes, strife and reproach will cease.”
Here we see a scoffer who’s contentious, divisive, a generator of strife. Some people have it in ‘em. Solomon simply advises us to cast out the scoffer.
Proverbs 22:11 (NKJV) “He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.”
What wonderful characteristics – to have purity of heart and have gracious lips! It’s no wonder the king himself is his or her friend (couldn’t help but think of King Jesus). These are some great goals to set in our crosshairs.
Proverbs 22:12 (NKJV) “The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, but He overthrows the words of the faithless.”
The eyes of the Lord, refer to God’s omniscience, His oversight. In the end, truth will be preserved, it will prevail; God will “preserve” it, especially His Word.
Bridges, “The Scriptures, as the words of knowledge, have been preserved in a far more accurate state than any other book of comparable age.”
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.