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Elihu the son of Barachel
Elihu the son of Barachel
- The book of Job has two chapters introducing Job and his dire situation (1-2), twenty-nine chapters of passionate exchanges between Job and his three friends (3-31), Elihu’s godly explanation and rebuke of all four men (32-37), God’s glorious rebuke of Job (38-41), and the conclusion of the matter (42).
- Job’s three friends around his age, introduced by Elihu, are Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar (2:11-13).
- For 29 chapters they debated: Job justifying himself, and his friends condemning him as a hypocrite: see 3:1; 4:1; 6:1; 8:1; 9:1; 11:1; 12:1; 15:1; 16:1; 18:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:1; 22:1; 23:1; 25:1; 26:1; 31:40.
- Every young man should be taught about Elihu, and every young man should remember Job 32 well!
- Here is a young man zealous for the glory of God and defense of the truth with wisdom and humility.
- Elihu was a patriarchal descendant of Nahor’s second son Buz, a nephew of Abraham (Gen 22:21).
- These are some of the best Bible chapters for glorifying God and reviving your spirit. Try them!
He got angry (32:1-3).
- He had a passionate spirit that would not stand by when God and saints were attacked!
- Anger for the glory of God and defense of the truth is good and noble (Ex 32:19-20; Num 25:6-15; I Sam 17:23-30; Neh 13:23-31; Ps 101:3; Mark 3:5; John 2:13-17; Jude 1:4).
- Anger for any other cause is highly dangerous and usually sinful; but if you love God and His kingdom, you should be righteously indignant for holiness, truth, and wisdom.
- Are you passionate about the things of God, or are you only passionate about this world?
He justified God (32:2).
- He was on the lookout for God’s glory, and he would not let anyone, even Job, impugn it!
- He will give the simple, 5-word solution to this book in defense of God shortly (33:12)!
- Do you always give God the benefit of the doubt and condemn all thoughts against Him?
- Are you so committed to the glory and honor of God that no one at all intimidates you?
He protected Job (32:3).
- He was on the lookout for God’s saints, and he would not let them unjustly condemn Job.
- Do you always protect the reputations of your brethren against slander or whispering?
- You had better be very careful before you harshly or impulsively accuse others of sin.
- Are you known for anger when anything is said or done against the saints (Prov 25:23)?
He was humble (32:4).
- He had waited while the four older men had argued and debated among themselves.
- He understood that age is to be honored (Leviticus 19:32; Isaiah 3:5; I Timothy 5:1).
- He did not even presume to list himself among Job’s friends at the beginning (2:11-13).
- Are you always willing to be out of sight and out of hearing when it is possible to do so?
He was wise (32:5).
- He was able to perceive by observation and listening that all four men were very wrong.
- He was angry truth and wisdom were ignored (Ps 119:113,128; Pr 22:17-21; Tit 1:9-14).
- A man with wisdom cannot stand the ignorant and profane babbling of men against God.
- Have you exercised your senses in God’s word to discern such things (Heb 5:12-14)?
- You must read and meditate on God’s word, take heed to preaching, and pray to be wise.
He was modest (32:6-7).
- He had waited for the older men, and he humbly confessed his natural inferiority to them.
- Do you, as Solomon and Paul, freely admit inferiority (I Kings 3:7; I Cor 15:9; Eph 3:8)?
- Elihu was very bold, confident, and critical of the four men; but he was still very humble and modest, because boldness, confidence, and fighting for God are true humility!
He was spiritual (32:8).
- He laid claim to a spirit within not bound by age, but he exalted it by God’s inspiration.
- The bodies of men grow and mature at approximately the same pace, but the spirits of men vary greatly according to the providence of God and the faithfulness of that man.
- There is no reason in this place to exalt the “human spirit,” because most men are idiots!
- Without regeneration, instruction, and obedience, man cannot discern anything of value.
- But every man of any age has a spirit, which in Elihu’s case was inspired by God’s Spirit.
- Do you grasp the need of God’s Spirit to know anything (I Cor 2:9-16; Eph 1:17-19)?
- Do you crave the word of God to acquire this inspiration of the Almighty for your spirit?
- Do you beg for God’s Spirit as Elisha begged and Jesus offered (II Kgs 2:9; Luke 11:13)?
He was bold (32:9-17).
- He respectfully but firmly put these men in their place as not grasping Job’s situation, and he declared that he would give them his opinions to answer the matter with true wisdom.
- A young man filled with the word of God and a holy life is bold (Pr 28:1; Dan 3:16-18).
- If men are confused and speaking foolishly in ignorance, step up and proclaim the truth!
- They had spoken much, but they had not found a satisfactory conclusion to justify flattering themselves as being wise in condemning Job under God’s judgment (32:13).
- Note their shocked response, where Elihu the narrator describes the scene (32:15-16): these are not Elihu’s spoken words; they are his written record to the reader: and you can believe this with all your heart in spite of the quotation marks of modern Bibles.
- Do you read God’s word so enemies, teachers, and ancients are nothing (Ps 119:98-100)?
He was zealous (32:18-20).
- He had a spirit in him that was stirred up and ready to explode for God and truth! Amen!
- You should remember Paul in the city of Athens, when he went to work (Acts 17:16-17).
- Are you passionate for the things of Jesus Christ? His kingdom? His word? His church?
He feared God (32:21-22).
- Regardless of the illustrious audience before him, he would not flatter any man at all.
- With the fear of God in his heart, he would not exalt any man’s person or his office.
- Young man! Do not fear Dr. So-and-So! Ignore their puffed up titles and doctorates!
- Do you know the Bible’s condemnation of titles (Matt 11:25-27; 23:5-12; I Cor 1:19-20)?
He exhorted (33:1-3).
- He ignored the three miserable comforters and went right to the root problem – Job!
- He declared his integrity and that his speech would make things plain (II Cor 3:12).
- Are you able with a pure heart and precise language to present the truth (Heb 3:12-13)?
He justified God (33:12).
- The answer to the book of Job is found in this verse. God can do as He wills at anytime!
- Here is God’s sovereign rule of the world and your life. God can do anything He wants!
- You can never say, “I do not deserve this!” You deserve far worse than He ever gives!
- In every circumstance of life, especially the bad ones, you should give God all the glory!
He loved truth (33:31-33).
- He told Job to mark what he was hearing, to shut up, to listen, and to let him speak!
- There was no room left for vain opinions or profane babbling. He tolerated only wisdom!
- Do you get disgusted with hearing drivel and twaddle and let those around you know it?
He demanded unity (34:1-4).
- He told the group of wise men that they should not break up until they had the truth.
- There is no place for unity but in the truth, so we must demand agreement in the truth.
- Are you always working to unite men in the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3)?
He named names (34:5-9).
- He identified Job as a scorner and companion of the wicked for statements that he quoted.
- Truth is more important than political correctness or peace. Identify error and correct it.
- Do you confront those in error and prove your love of truth and them (Leviticus 19:17)?
He submitted to God (34:31-32).
- He taught them the righteous attitude toward chastening (Pr 3:11-12; Ps 119:67,71,75).
- The first thing that should be done in adversity is to humble yourself before God.
- Do you respond to afflictions and trials with this godly and humble attitude? Learn it!
He exalted God (36:1-4).
- He asked for more time, because he had more to say in defense of God and His actions.
- When you are speaking on behalf of God, you should not cower or apologize for it at all.
- He claimed perfection in knowledge, because he was using inspiration to exalt the Lord.
- Are you bold and confident to speak in defense of God and for His glory to all men?
He gave hope (36:16).
- Applying his lesson with hope, he told Job that he could quickly end these tribulations.
- Because Job continued in his pride and rebellion, God had not lifted the trials yet.
- The Lord is of great compassion and mercy, and you should always believe this yourself.
- Do you give hope when warning and teaching others to know God will honor obedience?
He warned (36:17-18).
- He could see the danger that Job was creating, and he warned him of worse judgment.
- Though things were terrible in Job’s life, they could get worse, if Job did not repent.
- It is a Christian duty to warn the unruly and yank men out of sin (I Thes 5:14; Jude 1:23).
- When you see a brother or sister doing anything that is sinful, do you warn them?
He was practical (36:22 – 37:24).
- He was able to take God’s providential works of nature and illustrate His character.
- He humbled Job down to nothing by considering God’s marvelous works of all types.
- Do you see God in the events around you, and do you use them to exalt Him to others?
- Here are some of the best chapters in the Bible for glorifying God and truth and reviving your spirit.
- Here is a young man that we want to emulate – for Elihu illustrates true success and greatness.
- Since you cannot be directly inspired like Elihu, you can be indirectly inspired by reading the Bible.
For Further Study:
- Sermon Outline: “Righteous Indignation,” defines, endorses, and limits anger against sin and heresy.
- Proverb Commentary: “Proverbs 18:1,” describes the commitment it takes to acquire the wisdom of God.