Elihu continues to rebuke Job for how he is responding to the trial he is under. Job has said that God did all this for no reason but God IS just.
The fact that Job has contended with God is what has Elihu angry with him. Job keeps asking for a chance to speak with God face to face so he can defend his own life. He isn’t cursing God as Satan predicted he would but neither is he extoling God or learning from this lesson.
Job SWEARS he is innocent of ALL wrongdoing so God must be punishing him for no reason. Elihu says, “NOT SO!” God is just and does not pervert justice. God has a reason for allowing this in Job’s life, even if Job refuses to admit it.
And God is NOT the one inflicting the pain; Satan is. I don’t know if Elihu shares this last perspective with me. But let’s look at the evidence. In the beginning of the story when Satan came before God, he told God that Job served Him because of His protective hand on all Job had. God agreed to allow Satan to try Job by taking down that hedge of protection. SATAN took it from there and all Job had was destroyed by him. The second time Satan and God discussed Job, God agreed to allow Satan to touch Job’s body but NOT to take his life. SATAN again did the work of inflicting illness on Job.
This is the same way that God stood back and allowed the Sanhedrin and the Romans to crucify Jesus. God could have easily stopped both experiences at any moment, but He had a greater purpose in mind in allowing Satan to have his way. Even when the apostles were each killed, there was something better waiting on the other side. Eternity with Him awaited the apostles. Salvation was bought and paid for with Jesus’ death. And Job is going to learn a REAL lesson in humility on the other side of his pain.
I don’t know if EVERY hard time we go through is a specifically designed lesson from God but I do know that EVERY ONE OF THEM is an opportunity to get closer to Him. Some of them are incredibly hard, like the death of a child, while others are simply uncomfortable. God is ALWAYS faithful to meet us in our pain. He will even meet Job in his pain, AFTER he stops maligning Him.
God is NOT perverting justice in Job’s life. God is NOT ‘taking away Job’s rights’ and being cruel without cause. And Job cannot stand before God and defend his own position. He would be crispy fried if he tried!
I may not know the lesson waiting for me on the other side of my distress, but I KNOW God does. He will walk with me through it IF I will let Him. I wonder how much shorter Job’s journey would have been if he had asked God to help him in his ‘storm’ instead of maintaining his ‘innocence’ and the unjustness of his journey.
I don’t know how to reconcile ALL the pain in this world. Sometimes it does seem unfair when bad things happen to ‘good’ people. What I do know is that God KNOWS what is going on. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He has a perspective that we don’t. He knows the journey I am on and what is in between where I am and where He has prepared for me.
We are living in a fallen world and that means that I WILL run up against pain in it. God doesn’t cause that pain but He can use it in my life WHEN I give it to Him. For those who love Him it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. We will be stuck like Job until we do. When we do, THEN the learning and healing can begin. Some wounds never fully heal but our pain and perspective on them change when we give them to Him. He gives beauty for ashes ‘when’ we let Him have our pain instead of blame.
Thank You Father that You are ALWAYS with me, even in the storms. I TRUST You with my WHOLE life! I KNOW You see me in the dark places too and are just waiting for me to reach out to You again. You are patient and will wait as long as it takes. Thank You too for sending others along during the wait that prod me in the right direction. You sent Elihu to Job in his pain. BECAUSE You were reaching out to him too. I am NEVER alone in ANY lesson I go through!