05 September 2014
Am I Enough – Fairness, Prosperity, and Wrath
Greetings Dear Reader,
I must admit reading through Elihu’s words this week has been difficult. I must endure him one more day. I am, however, learning from him. I do wish that he understood the character of God. He brings up some issues that are still haunting us today. They demonstrate his lack of understanding.
Fairness – He believes that God is fair. Fairness is unfair. This is never described as an attribute of God. God is just but not fair. This assumption of God and this way of thinking is very dangerous. The world is not fair. The wicked do prosper. The righteous do suffer. That is what happens in a fallen world. Fairness thinking in a culture always leads to injustice.
Prosperity – The righteous are not always rich in a material sense. This thinking leads to abuse and evil. You are not guaranteed riches in material things if you are righteous. You are going to automatically live in poverty if you are evil I have often heard Elihu quoted by prosperity preachers. Please understand that Elihu is wrong. The primary problem with Job’s friends is that they do not understand God.
Anger – Elihu rails against the anger that the unrighteous have angrily. Here he is hypocritical. From the beginning his anger and disrespect betray the error in his reasoning. Everything about his approach to anger shows his lack of wisdom and understanding.
So what does this mean for me today? First I need to remember that Elihu needs love too. I need to be reminded that God is not a hammer yearning to crush those who do not understand him. Rather, he is a Father who loves his creation and wants to draw us to his arms.
God sent Jesus to teach me how much he loves me. He wants me to follow the Son with all my heart. He wants me to love all of those who are wrong about God. He wants me to see his love and how it quenches his anger. He wants me to love those who abuse him through teaching wrong things about him. He wants me to follow Job’s example. He wants me to wait for him to make all things right.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store."
Elihu continued to speak to Job,
(2) "Be patient with me a little longer, and I will show you that there is more to be said in God's defense. (3) I will get my knowledge from far away and prove that my Creator is fair. (4) Certainly, my words are not lies. The one who knows everything is speaking with you.
(5) "Certainly, God is mighty. He doesn't despise anyone. He is mighty and brave. (6) He doesn't allow the wicked person to live. He grants justice to those who are oppressed. (7) He doesn't take his eyes off righteous people. He seats them on thrones with kings to honor them forever. (8) However, if righteous people are bound in chains and tangled in ropes of misery, (9) he tells them what they've done wrong and that they've behaved arrogantly. (10) He makes them listen to his warning and orders them to turn away from wrong.
(11) "If righteous people listen and serve him, they will live out their days in prosperity and their years in comfort. (12) But if they don't listen, they will cross the River of Death and die like those who have no knowledge. (13) But those who have godless hearts remain angry. They don't even call for help when he chains them up. (14) They die while they're young, or they live on as male prostitutes in the temples of idols. (15) He rescues suffering people through their suffering, and he opens their ears through distress.
(16) "Yes, he lured you away from the jaws of trouble into an open area where you were not restrained, and your table was covered with rich foods. (17) But you are given the judgment evil people deserve. A fair judgment will be upheld. (18) Be careful that you are not led astray with riches. Don't let a large bribe turn you to evil ways. (19) Will your riches save you from having to suffer? Will all your mighty strength help you? (20) Don't look forward to the night, when people disappear from their places. (21) Be careful! Don't turn to evil, because you have chosen evil instead of suffering.
(22) "God does great things by his power. Is there any teacher like him? (23) Who can tell him which way he should go? Who can say to him, 'You did wrong'? (24) Remember that you should praise his work. People have sung about it. (25) Every person has seen it. Mortals have looked at it from a distance.
(26) "Certainly, God is so great that he is beyond our understanding. The number of his years cannot be counted. (27) He collects drops of water. He distills rain from his mist, (28) which then drips from the clouds. It pours down on many people. (29) Can anyone really understand how clouds spread out or how he thunders from his dwelling place? (30) Look, he scatters his flashes of lightning around him and covers the depths of the sea. (31) This is how he uses the rains to provide for people and to give them more than enough food. (32) He fills his hands with lightning and orders it to hit the target. (33) The thunder announces his coming. The storm announces his angry wrath.