From today’s passage I learn a couple important lessons:
Be careful what you say. Over and over Elihu recalls words that Job has spoken, paraphrases them, and then challenges the validity of those words. Elihu did this before in Job 33:9, and he does it again here in Job 34 at verses 5, 6 and 9.
What can we learn from this? God is not the only one who will hold us accountable for careless words we have spoken (Matthew 12:36). People will as well. Especially in an age of social media, you need to be careful with what you say. When you’re angry and in pain like Job was, be especially careful with your words. As Proverbs 13:3 says, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.”
God is perfectly just no matter how we feel. Job claimed that God had denied him justice (v5, see also Job 19:6-7 and 27:2). Elihu takes issue with Job talking about God as being anything but perfectly just. In verses 10 through 20, Elihu communicates the truth that justice is an unchangeable part of who God is. As Elihu says in Job 34:10-12:
10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong. 11 He repays a man for what he has done; he brings upon him what his conduct deserves. 12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.
According to Elihu, perfect justice is part and parcel of God being the sovereign ruler of the universe (v13, 17-19) and creator of humankind (v14-15, 20).
Because justice is an inseparable part of God’s character, God cannot do anything except what is just. So when things don’t happen the way we want or when we want, that does not disprove God’s justice. It simply proves that we are not God. God, who is still sovereign over everything, has the final say. He will always ensure that perfect justice is done in the end. For that is who God is.
Heavenly Father, may I be careful with my words since I will be held accountable for them. And praise You for being the only One who is all powerful and perfectly just. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!