Text: Job 35
Look at verse 14; therefore trust thou in him. This is the advice Elihu has for Job. And he is going to give a sound and thoughtful explanation of why trusting the Lord is right.
Elihu will explain that the Creator is not a moral errand boy for mankind. Man thinks he is the measure of all things and therefore believes that God is at his disposal. Every accusation against Job by Bildad, Zophar, and Eliphaz was wrong and followed that reasoning. Now Job, through extreme suffering, was coming to a similar conclusion about the Lord. They all essentially said that the Creator of the universe is simply an errand boy for man’s morality.
- It’s the false belief that if I’m good God is obligated to respond with something good for me when I want it. If someone does something bad, God will be obligated to send evil their way when I want Him to.
- It’s the false belief that if God does not respond the way I want him to, He is immoral.
- It’s the false belief that ordinances and physical laws should change according to my behavior.
And when the Lord doesn’t respond, His restraint is often used as an accusation against Him. You know how that goes when you ask why didn’t God keep my Dad from dying? Why did God allow my child to die? Why doesn’t God stop people from killing each other? Why did God allow this person to suffer in sickness? Elihu will illustrate that the Creator of all things is not an errand boy for mankind and Elihu will use three illustrations: creation in verses 5-7, oppression in verses 8-12, and judgment in verses 13-16.
Look up to find God’s faithfulness (vss 5-7)
- Look unto the heavens… (vs 5)
- Your sin or your righteousness will not change the order of God’s creation in anyway, much less bring the Creator under your demand.
- Rain will come whether your wicked or righteous. Summer will arrive on schedule whether you’re a thief or very generous. The Sun will shine whether you’re a liar or you preach the truth.
- Look up and you’ll find the faithfulness of God, not the wickedness of God
- Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
- Jeremiah 33:20-22 Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; 21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. 22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.
- Look up and you’ll find a Creator that is much higher than you
- Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
- James 1:16-17 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
- Some of you have jokingly said if you come to church the building may burn down. I get the joke, but that’s a real philosophy for most people. That my little actions here somehow change the natural laws of creation.
- The truth that the Lord is not beholden to the wickedness or righteousness of man is a good thing. He is higher than man. He is no respecter of persons. These are things that make the Lord Jesus Christ – the Creator – trustworthy.
The Lord will not hear vanity (vss 8-13)
- Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it. (vs 13)
- People oppress people and none of them are looking for the Lord’s intervention.
- People under affliction may cry out of pain, but crying out in pain is not the same thing as looking for the Lord.
- Psalms 53:2-4 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. 3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.
The Lord restrains judgment (vss 14-16)
- …yet judgment is before him…(vs 14)
- Because God restrains his judgment and waits for the day appointed, faithless people will believe two things about God.
- #1 – Judgment is never coming therefore I will get away with my sin. Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
- #2 – the second thing that faithless people will believe about their Creator is that He is unjust and immoral for allowing bad behavior to continue without judgment.
- What’s not considered is that time can be your friend as much as your enemy. If you’re trapped in sin aren’t you glad the Lord didn’t send you to Hell immediately, but gave you time and space to repent and trust him?
Elihu encourages trust in the Lord
- Elihu would present the charge against God in the beginning of the chapter, then explain that the reason you don’t trust the Lord is ironically the very reason you should trust the Lord. There is a very profound truth here. The things that ought to cause you to trust God are also the things that cause you to blame God.
- Illustration: Garden of Eden. God says don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says that because He loves man and wants the best for man. But when Satan shows up, he interprets the instruction as God being petty and keeping things from Adam and Eve. Satan frames the same commandment as a reason to distrust God when in reality it is a reason to trust Him.
- The point is that things of this world in relation to your Maker should point you in the direction of trusting the Lord. But when you accept Satan’s influence and perspective of things, it causes people to accuse their Creator of immorality and wickedness.
- So you stand at a crossroads.
- Essential element of faith is believing God is the rewarder. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
- The Lord is the rewarder works for both good and evil.
- Proverbs 25:21-22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
- Romans 12:17-21 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
- The one who defends God’s righteousness is the true friend. Not the one that flatters, neither the one that accuses without charge, but the one that defends the Lord to you, that person is your friend and the caretaker of your soul.
- Elihu advice is good advice – therefore trust thou in him.