Suffering – God’s Megaphone – Job 29 – 37

By John Bellingham on December 11, 2016
Download MP3
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Suffering:  God’s Megaphone

Job 29-37

I.  Job’s Transgression (Chapters 29-31)

1)     Job’s Spiritual Progression

  1. Job begins the trial with a stunning victory over temptation – (1:20-22;  2:9-10)
  2. Job bitterly laments his situation and wishes for death but does not sin against God (Chapter 3)
  3. Job begins to openly question God’s goodness and justice as the trial drags on  (cf. 9:22-24, 16:9-14; 19:11-12, 22)
  4. Job expresses his need for wisdom (Chapter 28)
  5. Job defends his own reputation at the expense of God’s reputation (Chapters 29-31)
    1. Some of Job’s impassioned speech has now crossed the line into blasphemy
    2. God will intervene before Job allows the sin of pride to overtake him completely

2)       Job’s Final Defense (Chapters 29-30)

  1. Job remembers his life before the trial
    1. Emphasis on the way he was once honoured and respected by everyone
    2. Emphasis on his righteous deeds (vv. 12-17, cf.  Eliphaz’ accusations in 22:5-11)
  2. Job bitterly laments his present situation
    1. He is shamed by the village ‘rabble’
    2. He accuses God of cruelty and persecution (vv. 20-22)
    3. He insinuates that he has shown more mercy than God (vv. 24-25)

3)     Job’s Challenge to God (Chapter 31)

  1. Job present God with an ‘Oath of Innocence’
    1. He is now trying to manipulate God in a desperate effort to save his reputation
    2. If he’s guilty of sin Job challenges God to strike him down
    3. If God does not impose the punishments Job specifies in the oath, his innocence will be publicly vindicated
    4. Job has decided that his reputation is more important than God’s reputation
  2. Job has successfully silenced his friends, but in the process, he has sinned against God (32:1,12)

II.  Elihu’s Tirade (Chapters 32-37)

1)     Elihu’s Righteous Anger (Chapter 32)

  1. He is angry with Job because “Job justified himself rather than God” (v. 2)
  2. He is angry with Job’s friends because they were unsuccessful in answering Job (v. 5)
  3. Elihu (a young man) believes that he has more wisdom than these three elders
    1. Some dismiss Elihu’s speech as rude, self-important, verbose and irrelevant
    2. Others recognize great wisdom and truth in Elihu’s strong words of rebuke
      1. Job does not answer Elihu’s rebuke (32:31-33)
      2. God does not condemn Elihu’s words

2)     Elihu’s Conclusions

  1. Job is not suffering because he sinned, but he has sinned in his suffering (33:8-12;  34:35-37)
  2. Suffering has an instructive purpose in God’s dealings with the righteous.  God uses suffering to ‘open our ears’ (33:14-30;  36:8-17)

Application Points:

– Suffering often stirs up residual sin in our hearts that God wants to deal with.   Suffering is God’s ‘megaphone’

– Be on guard against the temptation to sin in your suffering, or to think you know better than God.

– When you suffer as a Christian, do not assume that God is punishing you for sin.   Receive suffering as a Father’s instruction that will ultimately be for your spiritual benefit (Hebrews 12:5-11)

No Response to “Suffering – God’s Megaphone – Job 29 – 37”

Comments are closed.