Daily Devotional Thursday 23rd September 2021

by William Moody

Job 35

Elihu Condemns Job

35:1 And Elihu answered and said:

  “Do you think this to be just?
    Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’
  that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
  I will answer you
    and your friends with you.
  Look at the heavens, and see;
    and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
  If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
  If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
    Or what does he receive from your hand?
  Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
    and your righteousness a son of man.
  “Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.1
10   But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11   who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
12   There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evil men.
13   Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty regard it.
14   How much less when you say that you do not see him,
    that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
15   And now, because his anger does not punish,
    and he does not take much note of transgression,2
16   Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”


[1] 35:9 Or the many
[2] 35:15 Theodotion, Symmachus (compare Vulgate); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain


Here Elihu seeks to answer two questions Job raised. The first is what value is there in being good (v3)?

Elihu’s reply is intriguing and he speaks of God’s greatness being so far above us that our wickedness and righteousness do not impact God (v5-7).

Our wickedness and righteousness will surely impact us (v8), often more than what we can imagine.  But our wickedness and righteousness will not change God. God can’t be changed as His perfection is eternal.

The second question from Job that Elihu responds to was, why does God not answer prayer (v9)? The answer Elihu gives is that man’s sinful pride stops God answering (v12). Elihu sees Job as being guilty of this as he accuses him of being a man of empty talk (v16).

Elihu’s teaching is true in regards being a general principle, but in Job’s specific case there was more to it.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.