“How much less, then, will he listen when you say that you do not see him, that your case is before him and you must wait for him,”
~ Job 35:14
Hi James and Ellen,
Have you ever been lambasted or yelled at by a kid friend – or by a guy or gal, for something that you said or did? Have you ever been preached at or judged by a kid friend – or by a guy or gal, for a belief that you have? Have you ever been criticized or demeaned by a kid friend – or by a guy or gal, for being vulnerable or transparent? Have you ever felt like a Job? Have you ever pulled an Elihu? To pull an Elihu is to use an oversize, self-righteous ego to lambast, yell at, preach at, judge, criticize and/or demean a guy, gal or kid who is hurting for one reason or another. Elihu was the youngest of three self-proclaimed friends of Job who instead of rallying around Job to encourage him after his kids were killed, after his livestock were stolen, after his body was covered with sores, after . . . these guys took turns lambasting, yelling at, preaching at, judging, criticizing and/or demeaning Job – telling him that he really has to be a terribly sinful guy for God to be exacting the kind of horrific punishment that He was inflicting on him. To pull an Elihu is to not listen to what another guy, gal or kid is saying. Elihu – and his disparaging buddies, spent their time seemingly enjoying the opportunity to rant and rail at a physically hurting and a spiritually dispirited Job. Do you know a Job – a kid – or a guy or gal, who is going through right now some intense, acute life trials? Do you know an Elihu – a kid – or a guy or gal, who is inflicting injurious, adverse hurts on the life of another kid – or a guy or gal, who is going through right now some very concerning serious life trials?
Job 35 begins Elihu’s third diatribe or harangue against Job. There is a sense that Elihu was in Job’s face as he tried to make his case to Job that Job was wrong in what he was saying. There is a sense that Elihu thinks that he had a better understanding than his two cohorts – or any other guy or gal, of God’s ways and/or judgements. There is a sense that Elihu enjoyed the opportunity to have a ‘soap box’ to tell the truth as he saw it. Do you like to argue with other kids – or with guys and gals? Do you think that you know more than what other kids – or guys or gals, know? Do you look for opportunities to impose your personal beliefs on other kids – and on guys and gals? Where do you picture God to be right now? Do you picture God in your mind to be someplace in the distant far away sky? Do you think that God really cares about a life plight that a guy, gal or kid is going through? Do you think that God is in any way effected by your sins? Do you think that it is just your family and friends who are the ones who are affected by something that has happened or is happening to you because of what you said or did? Because God did not answer Job when Job desperately called out to Him for His help, Elihu suggests to Job that God did not answer him because he is arrogant. Elihu’s take on this is that God does not respond to wicked guys and gals when they sin because of their arrogance towards Him. Elihu does not consider himself being arrogant even though he is putting down a guy who is older than himself. Elihu struggled to reconcile Job’s sincere desire to have God vindicate him because of his lifetime walk with Him as he was also hearing Job saying that God does not care that He has put him in the horrific life plight that he is finding himself in at this time. Elihu saw this as an unmerited and inconsistent thing for Job to say. Elihu had a belief norm that does not allow for a guy – like Job, or for a gal or kid to really honestly express his or her feelings just as the guy, gal or kid are feeling them – even if these feelings are articulated in words such as ‘it sure feels like God has forgotten me’ or ‘it sure feels like God has rejected me’. Elihu had a belief norm that God is so distant – so far away, from the good and bad ongoing actions and activities of guys, gals and kids who are living on planet Earth that He is not being affected. Elihu had a belief norm that there is no place to complain to God about His justice or injustice or about His silence or lack of doing something – which he saw as just being meaningless, complaining chatter. Elihu’s belief norm was to blindly trust in the impartiality and goodness of his Maker as being the author of his wisdom and joy. Verse 14 more or less sums up a belief norm that Elihu had, “How much less, then, will he listen when you say that you do not see him, that your case is before him and you must wait for him,” What Elihu is telling Job here – as a self-declared, self-appointed expert who thinks that he knows God’s mind, is that God has not been listening to you Job and that He is not going to listen to you because you are not doing it right.
What does doing and/or saying something right mean to you? Does doing and/or saying something right mean to you what you do and/or say or does doing and/or saying something right mean to you what another kid – or a guy or gal, does or says? Your grandpaa is sure that you like to be right about whatever. Your grandpaa does not like to be wrong about anything. Your grandpaa knows that there are different ways – with all the ways being right, to do or say something. Your grandmaa and grandpaa had a choice to make when your dad asked his dad and ma if he could go to Tambo – which is the New Tribes boarding school in Bolivia. After your grandmaa and grandpaa arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia at the end of August of 1972 to join the South America Mission field missionary team, your dad began attending Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center as an eighth grader while your Aunt Lynn started first grade. After your dad met a kid in Cochabamba who was going to school at Tambo your dad decided that he wanted to go to Tambo, too, even though it meant your dad not seeing his dad and ma for at times over a month. Ask your dad if he is glad that his dad and ma let him to go to Tambo. Listening to and doing what God expects you to do is good; pulling an Elihu is not good. Trusting in God’s help will lead to hope; trusting in a guy’s help will lead to confusion.
Job 35 (823)