Job 32-36

Job 32-36…God retains final control of His creation.

This is the point that Elihu makes in the conclusion of his speech. At last, we find some softening in his words, although his presumptuous claim that God has spoken directly to him implies that God hasn’t spoken to Job or the other three.

We find increased sensitivity toward Job as Elihu acknowledges that the afflicted need not necessarily be sinful. Thus Elihu also introduces a whole new idea by stating that God does not just give affliction as punishment, but that he “woos” the afflicted and heals them. For the first time, the idea is presented that God is compassionate and brings people into a new understanding of the world through suffering that heals.

Although Elihu may have started off a bit arrogant in the first part of his speech, he certainly ends it on a glorious note. The second part of today’s reading focuses on the sheer wonder of who God is. To illustrate God’s wonder, Elihu offers a marvelous description of a mighty thunderstorm, in which the deafening sounds of thunder appear as God’s voice. At such a display, Elihu can only marvel. The point of this weather lesson is to show that God is in complete control. The series of questions that follow show that Job is not!

As we noted, Elihu’s speech has shifted the discussion’s focus. Job’s first three friends looked for reasons to explain his suffering, hoping to find some hidden sin in Job. But Elihu begins to look upward, anticipating what God might be doing. He doesn’t ask “Why?” but “What?” . . . “What