Job 32:1-11 “Job…Justified Himself Rather Than God”

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With Comments by Larry Groenewald

Job 32:1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
Job 32:2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.
Job 32:3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
Job 32:4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.
Job 32:5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.
Job 32:6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.
Job 32:7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Job 32:9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.
Job 32:10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.
Job 32:11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.

Introduction

This book began by telling us how righteous a man Job was perceived to be:

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Since Christ Himself was not perfected while in the flesh, the English Standard Version is probably a better translation of this verse:

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

So this book is designed to expose the very spirit which crucified our Lord. Here is that very spirit which is within us all:

Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

Here is that spirit within Job:

Job 10:2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
Job 10:3 Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
Job 10:4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?
Job 10:5 Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man’s days,
Job 10:6 That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
Job 10:7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
Job 10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.

The best thing that will ever happen to any of us is for our old man to be destroyed and for our new man to be birthed through that destruction. But this book demonstrates for us that our old first man Adam, does not see his self- righteousness for the most insidious sin in our flesh. Even Abraham cried to God to spare his own flesh:

Gen 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

That is the same as Job saying:

Job 10:7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand. Job 10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.

The Truth is that we are all first “shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, in a marred manner in the hand of the Potter Himself.

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

So we are all first, by God’s design, “marred in the hand of the Potter”, who has, of his own will, made us that way. But our flesh cries out to be saved. “O that Ishmael [ the son of the bond woman] might live before thee”. This book of Job demonstrates for us how extremely difficult it is to bring us to understand that flesh, even at its best, is still nothing more than self- righteous”corruption” and must be destroyed.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Our flesh, as Job demonstrates, must be brought to see that every man must first be made in “corruption”; must then, by means of “an experience of evil [ the trials of Job] be brought to see how vile we all are, even if we are “blameless and upright, one who fear[ s] God and turned away from evil.” We are plainly told what God is doing:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.
1Co 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life- giving spirit.
1Co 15:46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
1Co 15:49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (ESV)

So this book is teaching us that our body of corruption is our “first man Adam”, and he must come first. Nevertheless he must in time be “destroyed”.

2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked [ our “old… first man Adam”] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

This is the message of the book of Job, a message of which neither Job nor his three miserable comforters, all types of us while we are self- righteous Babylonians, have no understanding. We have read all the chapters from Job 3 to chapter 31 where “the words of Job are ended”, and we have seen that in all of his misery, Job’s friends can do nothing but find fault with Job, and He, too, can do nothing but accuse them of being “viler that the earth”.

Job 30:8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.

It may be hard to understand, but our “old… first man Adam” thinks that he is “not like other men” and can somehow separate himself from, and elevate himself above those who have come out of the earth.
But God’s time has now come to tell Job what is going on and why he has seen fit to humble Job and place him in the position of being the object of the disdain of his closest “inward friends”, who are not even as righteous as he.
Job has asked God:

Job 10:2 I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me.
Job 10:3 Does it seem good to you to oppress, to despise the work of your hands and favor the designs of the wicked?
Job 10:4 Have you eyes of flesh? Do you see as man sees?

In our frustration we actually ask God to “let us know why he is contend[ ing]” and coming against us. We accuse him of “favor[ ing] the designs of the wicked”, and having “eyes of flesh [ and] see[ ing] as man sees”.
But God always sends us a messenger to answer our questions and to be His witness against us as our “old… first man Adam”. While the symbol of God’s witness in this book is a single man named Elihu, he is nevertheless God’s witness against both Job and his friends, and he is speaking for God:

Job 32:1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Here is the holy spirit, giving us the root of our own greatest problem. It is our inability to acknowledge our own sinful composition. The “old… first- man- Adam Pharisee within us all is, by nature, “righteous in His own eyes”. We have been taught that God made a perfected creature in that “first man Adam”. We were taught that we then chose to disobey God and God was simply forced to reject us because of our sins. Then we were taught that if we would only repent and begin to serve God then God would be obligated to protect and to prosper us in everything we do. So after we have, by God’s mercy, overcome many pulls of our flesh, and have done “many wonderful works” in the name of our Lord, we are convinced that our own righteousness has indebted God to do His part and demonstrate to the world how pleased He is with our righteousness by protecting us from those who would do us harm, and by keeping Satan hedged out of our lives and prospering the work of our hands.
But the time has now arrived for us to come to see that we were not created in perfection but rather we were purposely given bodies of the dust of this temporal earth and that our Creator was so certain that we would give our lives over to sin, that before He ever made the “first man Adam” he had already made a sacrifice for our sins which He knew were the certain fruit of a marred vessel of clay.

1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

All of our trials, and the outcome of those trials, are nothing more or less than “the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory”.
These trials of Job are our trials which must be lived out in each of us, in our own way and in our own order. Elihu is witnessing to this Truth before Job and before his friends.

Job 32:2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.
Job 32:3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia and according to Hitchcock’s Bible Names, ‘Elihu’ means “He is my God”. Indeed the scriptures inform us that Elihu is speaking for God Himself, and indeed he is, because when God is pronouncing judgment upon Job and his three friends, Elihu in not mentioned among them.

Job 36:1 Elihu also proceeded, and said, Job 36:2 Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.

Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

In keeping with the Biblical pattern, Elihu is the youngest and is used of God to instruct his proud elders:

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

“The elder shall serve the younger” is Bible speak for the “old man… Adam” will be replaced by the “last Adam”.

Job 32:4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.
Job 32:5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.
Job 32:6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.

All of the Biblical stories of the younger ruling over the elder, Abel over Cain, Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over his ten brothers and David over his brothers and then over King Saul, are all giving us the same typical message. Our new man will, in time, rule over our “old… first man Adam”! That is true even for every one of the elders who make up this list of types and shadows. Here is what God told Cain:

Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Now that is truly “good news” for all mankind. This entire book of Job is the story of that very process. The old ‘Job’ is being burned up, and a new Job is being born in that process:

Joh 3:30 He [ Christ, the “new man”] must increase, but I [ John, typifying the self- righteousness of the law] must decrease.
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself [ his “new man… last A dam] shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

We all have and must all bear the image of the earthy, and we will also all bear the image of the heavenly.

LARRY:
Verses 1-6:

Elihu could see the wrong premises of all these speakers. They elevated their own righteousness above the most righteous God Himself. All in the first man Adam with this natural mind have received a marred and corrupt premise or foundation from the hand of the Potter, and everything built on that is corrupt and is in the process of being mercifully destroyed. Job’s three comforters could only speculate and make false accusations about Job’s sin. As Mike rightly said they displayed our natural inability to acknowledge our own sinful composition. Only Christ was the true righteousness of God and did not transgress while He was in the same sinful flesh because He walked ‘after the [ fullness of the] spirit’:

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

This links beautifully with Elihu’s purpose in the book of Job – to point to God’s righteousness. Elihu (his name means “He is my God”) was an offspring of the ‘kindred of Ram’– Ram means “to rise up”. Elihu could not help himself to rise up in defence of God and in that way prepared the way for God’s words to be spoken.

Elihu continues explaining why he has held his peace:

Job 32:7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Job 32:9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

The word ‘always’ is not in the Hebrew, so we will read the ASV which leaves it out:

Job 32:9 It is not the great that are wise, Nor the aged that understand justice.

Men who are great in this world have what the scriptures call “man’s wisdom”, but they are never to be considered spiritually wise men. Here is how the spirit explains Elihu’s point:

1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

World leaders have no understanding of spiritual matters. If they did they certainly would not be entangled with the affairs of this age:

2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth [ for Christ] entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

It was the great men of this world who were given to slay our Savior:

Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Elihu continues:

Job 32:10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.
Job 32:11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.

The fact that he says “I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons”, makes it clear that he has been right there all along, and has heard all the accusations Job’s miserable comforters brought against him, and he has heard all of Job’s self- righteous answers. But it is given to the young ‘Joseph’, the young Elihu, to be favored with the answer that is so lacking in his older brothers.

LARRY:
Verses 7-11:

There is an unbridgeable gap between the wisdom of man and the wisdom of God as there is between flesh and spirit. This gap is also called the ‘great gulf’ that is ‘fixed’ in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man:

Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Elihu did not want to follow in the steps of these older men to use the wisdom of the world, but instead spoke the words from ‘afar’ because at this stage God’s words of wisdom were very far from these four elderly gentlemen:

Job 36:3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

Here are next week’s verses.

Job 32:12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:
Job 32:13 Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.
Job 32:14 Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.
Job 32:15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.
Job 32:16 When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)
Job 32:17 I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion. Job 32:18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.
Job 32:19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
Job 32:20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.
Job 32:21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
Job 32:22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

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