There they cry, but none giveth answer,
because of the pride of evil men.
Elihu continues to discuss the speechesA man’s behavior does not affect God
v1 Elihu added:
v2 Job, tell me whether this is fair. You said to God, ‘I am innocent.’ v3 But you also said to God, ‘God does not benefit from my good deeds. And I do not benefit if I refuse to do evil things.’
v4 I shall answer you and your friends. v5 Look towards heaven! Look at the sky! See the clouds! v6 If you are evil, your behaviour does not affect God. Even if you are very wicked, your behaviour still does not affect God. v7 If you are good, God does not benefit. God receives nothing from your good works.
v8 Your evil actions only affect people like you. And your good actions only benefit other people.
In other words, Job was saying, ‘God does not care whether a man is innocent or not. I thought that God would help me because of my good deeds. But in fact, I am suffering as an evil person deserves to suffer. So when I did these good deeds, I was wasting my time.’
Elihu disagreed. This was a stupid attitude. Job’s words were like the words of an evil man.
Christians do not do good deeds in order to impress God. And we do not pretend that our actions will change God’s attitudes. Whatever we do, God remains the same (Hebrews 13:6).
Paul wrote a joyful letter, called the Book of Philippians, while he was in prison.
Some people imagine that they can earn the right to go to heaven by their good deeds. But the Bible teaches that this idea is wrong (Ephesians 2:8-9). Heaven is God’s gift. To go to heaven, we must confess our evil deeds to God.
It seems as if Job had forgotten the reason for his good deeds (Job 29:12-17).
Job did these things because he was a servant of God (Job 1:8).
A servant carries out his master’s work.
And Job was doing God’s work.
Evil people complain, but they do not respect God
v9 People suffer greatly. They cry for help when their rulers are cruel. v10 But nobody calls to God,
· God made us all;
· God gives us songs that comfort us at the saddest times;
· v11 God teaches us more than the animals;
· God made us to be wiser than the birds.
v12 But God does not answer the cries of such people because they are proud and evil. v13 God does not listen to the hopeless cries of these people.
In Job 24:1-12, Job spoke about the poor people who were suffering because of their cruel rulers. And Job complained that God was not helping these people.
Elihu’s answer to Job was in two parts:
· Perhaps those poor people did not deserve to suffer (Job 34:23-28).
Whenever they cried, they prayed to God for help.
Elihu believed that God would often help such people (Job 34:28).
God listened to their cries. So God would punish their cruel rulers.
· But perhaps those poor people were evil (Job 35:9-13).
They were too proud to pray to God.
When Job complained, Job did not respect God
v14 Moreover, God does not listen when you complain, Job. You say that:
· You do not see God. He has vanished!
· God is your judge. But you must wait until he has time for you.
· v15 God never punishes evil men.
v16 And all these ideas are nonsense. Job spoke these words without knowledge of the reality.
Job too had been complaining about God. Job was not thanking God for his good gifts. Instead, Job was constantly arguing that he himself was innocent. He was constantly insisting that God should help him. Job was acting as if God deserved blame for Job’s troubles. This was a terrible error.