Whilst the protagonists of Experience, Tradition and Legalities including their friend Job kept mute, Elihu begins to extol God. He declared that, “Stay with me a little longer, I’ll convince you. There is still more to be said on God’s side. I learnt all this firsthand from the Source; everything I know about justice I owe to my Maker Himself. Trust me, I’m giving you undiluted truth; believe me, I know these things inside and out.
It’s true that God is all-powerful, but he doesn’t bully innocent people. For the wicked, though, it’s a different story – he doesn’t give them the time of day, but champions the rights of their victims. He never takes His eyes off the righteous; He honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly. When things go badly, when affliction and suffering descend, God tells them where they’ve gone wrong, shows them how their pride has caused their trouble.
He forces them to heed to His warning, tells them they must repent of their bad life. If they obey and serve him, they’ll have a good, long life on easy street. But if they disobey, they’ll be cut down in their prime and never know the first thing about life. Angry people without God pile grievance upon grievance, always blaming others for their troubles. Living it up in sexual excesses, virility wasted, they die young. But those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.”
Elihu was fascinated that Job put the blame on God. He told Job that, “Oh, Job, don’t you see how God’s wooing you from the jaws of danger? How He’s drawing you into wide-open places— inviting you to feast at a table laden with blessings? And here you are laden with the guilt of the wicked, obsessed with putting the blame on God! Don’t let your great riches mislead you; don’t think you can bribe your way out of this. Did you plan to buy your way out of this? Not on your life!
And don’t think that night, when people sleep off their troubles, will bring you any relief. Above all, don’t make things worse with more evil— that’s what’s behind your suffering as it is! “Do you have any idea how powerful God is? Have you ever heard of a teacher like him? Has anyone ever had to tell him what to do, or correct him, saying, ‘You were wrong!’? Remember then, to praise His workmanship, which is so often celebrated in song. Everybody sees it; nobody is too far away to see it.”
As Elihu continues to pour out from the depth of knowledge and cognitive ability, God wades in from the whirlwind, to confirm Elihu’s words that Job spoke without knowledge. God begins to speak to Job: He told him He had some questions for him. He asked why Job would question His wisdom with such uninformed words. This He did, by requesting Job to stand up so He can question him. God asked Job the following:
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the Earth? Do you know who determined the measurements of the Earth? Do you know where the boundaries of the Earth start and finish? How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, and who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was Me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night. Then I made a playpen for it, a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose, and said, ‘Stay here, this is your place. Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’ God continued!
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? Job was quiet, he couldn’t give answers to the many questions, and neither did his friends (who spoke for twenty nine chapters of the book) have a clue. Job said, “ I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
At this point, Job starts to come around just like the prodigal son: when the bible says he came to himself. Now Job can learn some good lessons about life. Lessons he could never have learnt because of his own self-righteousness and piousness. Final questions from God: “Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong? Are you calling Me a sinner so you can be a saint? Do you have an arm like My arm? Can you shout in thunder the way I can? Go ahead and show your stuff. Let’s see what you’re made of or what you can do. Unleash your outrage. Target the arrogant and lay them flat. Target the arrogant and bring them to their knees. Stop the wicked in their tracks—make mincemeat of them! Dig a mass grave and dump them in it—faceless corpses in an unmarked grave. I’ll gladly step aside and hand things over to you— you can surely save yourself with no help from Me!”
Imagine the countenance of the self-righteous Job and his three sanctimonious friends! Looking so foolish before their maker and would have desired at that time if it was possible to take back all the words they had ever uttered. This is what we look like when we utter words without an iota of knowledge or understanding. Like the Apostle describes such words of eloquence fabricated and formulated by man without substance; the counsel of God is final, it’s the substance that we need.
God brought to his attention one of the animals He made, just the way He made human beings – the Behemoth. The attention is to focus on the qualities of this animal. A Behemoth is an herbivorous animal, feeding on grass like the cattle. He has great size and his muscular strength is evident in the appearance of his legs and belly. He also has a large muscular tail; and the bones and limbs are extraordinarily strong.
A behavioral attribute of this animal, is to sink into the river waters and to be hidden among the reeds. The animal is at home in water. When the river is in flood, he prefers to stay in the surging waters rather than escape to dry land. He is not alarmed; he is secure. He can venture forth into the mountains in order to forage for food. He is a wild animal, and it is unheard of for him to be captured, overpowered, and pierced through the nose. No human being can handle or trap this gargantuan animal; none can have this animal as a friend. Only God could have made such an animal, only the Lord has dominion over this creature. Nature must never be swapped for God’s handiwork.
This is supposed to be a great lesson to Job when it comes to knowing and understanding the interminable character of God. I guess Job and his friends could never have thought as unfathomable as that, although they saw God’s creation.
Apostle Paul was accurate when he said, “But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat Him like God, refusing to worship Him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in His hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.”