Elihu continues to address Job and his attitude. “Is God ‘better off’ that you don’t sin or are you? Who needs whom in this equation?”
Job’s complaint focuses around his own conviction that he is righteous and innocent of all sin and if God would just let him prove it to Him, He would relent in the punishment he is suffering. Elihu first addressed the fact that God was not inflicting the pain on him, Satan was. God was using that pain to get Job’s attention though. Now he moves onto Job’s ‘rights’ and who benefits in the relationship.
When it comes to God, I won’t claim any ‘rights’ when it comes to our relationship. I am BLESSED by our relationship and honored He calls me His child. As His child I have ‘rights’ I can exercise against Satan and this world. These are the ‘rights’ of His children. I didn’t earn these ‘rights’ but they were granted to me through Jesus.
This relationship is a lot like an earthly parent and child. The child cannot assert rights over the parents. He/she does not have the right to determine bedtime, where the family lives, or even his/her own future. A loving parent will take the child’s concerns into consideration but has no obligation to give in to the child’s wishes. But as a member of that family the child has the right to use the family’s name and to make use of the resources given to him/her through the family; the inheritance.
Our society has perverted this relationship over the years, just as Job did. The child is demanding of the father/Father that he/He bend to the child’s will. Job is trying to tell God what to do and charging Him for not listening. More than that, He is charging God with being unfair. Just like the child who claims mommy is unfair because she won’t let him eat all the Halloween candy he collected in one night. It’s ‘his candy’ after all!
Elihu’s contention today is to ask Job who really benefits from this relationship. Elihu says that if we were to take Job’s side and say he is being unjustly punished we would have to agree that there is no benefit to abstaining from sin. As, according to Job’s stance, both righteous and wicked are being treated the same. “What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?” (verse 3).
Who gets the advantage out of our relationship with God? In our relationship with our children, the advantage is theirs. We provide for their needs. We feed, clothe, educate, and see to their very existence from the moment of conception. Ask any new parent and you will see that they take an enormous amount of our resources. And they contribute nothing to the pot of resources. Those without children have fewer demands on their time, money, and energy.
When the child needs redirection or we have to clean up after one of their ‘messes’ it is the parent expending the energy and resources to deal with the issue. Sometimes it is even the parent repairing the relationships that got damaged in the first place.
Elihu points out that it is the same for us with God. We don’t add one thing to His power or majesty by being faithful to Him. We also don’t take away any of His power when we are unfaithful. He is STILL God, no matter what men do or think. WE are the ones who benefit from the relationship with Him.
The parent isn’t without compensation for his/her time and energy spent on his/her children. Our compensation comes in the form of love. We also receive the satisfaction of watching our children grow into responsible adults and the honor they reflect back on us through their accomplishments. This is of course a LONG and costly process but one I believe is well worth it!
God receives the same ‘compensation’ as earthly parents. He receives the love of His children and I have no doubt that it ‘warms His heart’. He also is glorified through our actions, when they are in line with His word.
Sometimes that love is more obvious than others. ‘Terrible twos’ and teen years are some of the tougher places. Job’s love wasn’t too obvious at the moment. His acknowledgement of God as powerful is what kept Job in check right now but he wasn’t showing the respect due God by His position. He was ‘talking back’ like a teenager. And that is what Elihu was reproaching him for.
“Think about Who you are talking to! Who is the Parent and who is the child? You might want to check your attitude young man before it gets you in SERIOUS trouble.” Job’s attitude of pride in his own ‘perfection’ and his assertion of ‘his rights’ were the keys to the lesson he needed to learn.
Almost there Job!
Father God, THANK YOU for choosing me as Your child! Thank You that, because of that relationship with You, I have rights over the enemy. I can ‘draw on the family resources’ in my life and especially in times of need. I pray I honor You with my use of those resources and that You get the glory for ALL the successes in my life. I want to shine a light on You and let the WHOLE WORLD know what an AMAZING Father I have. My God is an AWESOME God!