Chapter 35 – Do you see so much evil today seemingly being rewarded that you wonder if being faithful to your convictions to God does any good? I know I have certainly had those thoughts (it pains me to admit it). BUT did you notice they were thinking the same thing back in Job’s day? Elihu’s conclusion was that God is still concerned with the good and the evil even though he doesn’t always intervene immediately. However, HE WILL intervene. Sometimes the scenarios simply have to play themselves out like with what Job was going through. We witness that Job was not a perfect, sinless man, and his suffering brought out his pride.
Elihu brings out a very painful truth here in verses 9-13 (The Message)
“When times get bad, people cry out for help.
They cry for relief from being kicked around,
But never give God a thought when things go well,
when God puts spontaneous songs in their hearts,
When God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom,
using birds and beasts to teach wisdom.
People are arrogantly indifferent to God—
until, of course, they’re in trouble,
and then God is indifferent to them.
These verses are so significant because we ALL tend to pray really hard when things are going wrong, but seem to forget to praise HIM and pray to HIM when things are good. God WANTS to spend time with us … in good times and in bad times… whether we made bad choices which caused our consequences OR when there is an allowed event we must live through and pray through!! God WANTS to hear our praise, our pleas, our thanksgiving, our crys of help, from ALL of us. NOTHING you say is going to shock HIM. We can learn from Job’s example to be sure we don’t begin to live in pride, self-righteousness, or even rebellion.
Keep in mind that God is the “perfect gentleman”. He has given us FREE WILL, so we can make our own CHOICES. God will allow us to make CHOICES that will destroy us because he honors the gift of FREE WILL that HE gave to us. God will NOT barge through the door. HE desires to be asked in and will wait for us to ask. An example that comes to mind to further this idea of FREE WILL strictly from a human perspective is the entire concept of dating and marriage. I have seen people date; one person falls in love while the other person openly admits NOT to have the same feelings. I have seen the one in love do many things to compromise who they are to get the affection of the one they love, to get the commitment from the one they love. “Surely he/she must love me because they want to be with me.” If the one in love is a dominant personality, they will drive the other person kicking and screaming to the altar and SOON wonder WHY they got married. THAT is not true love.. that is abuse of power… or a controlling, selfish person. My point is that the person who went along with the marriage but did not feel the same made what I call a poor FORCED CHOICE. God does not want us to make a FORCED CHOICE. He wants us to come to HIM out of our heart’s desire, our own FREE WILL.
Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV) says:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. NOW CHOOSE LIFE, so that you and your children may live.
Although we have only read a little in Genesis before we went to Job we saw how grieved God becomes when we sin …. Because it separates us from HIM. Yes, it separates us from HIM. HE wants us to CHOOSE LIFE!! He wants the best for us. However, often our choices are not the choices God would like us to make. God says HE knocks on the door and wants us to invite HIM in. Revelation 3:20 says:
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” He has already chosen us (see Ephesians 1:4 “For he chose us in him BEFORE the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
God wants us to CHOOSE HIM, to WANT HIM of our own volition. Remember.. FREE WILL. Denial is a CHOICE. Forgiveness is a CHOICE. LOVE is a CHOICE. Asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior is a CHOICE. Sin is a CHOICE. Obeying God is a CHOICE. God is not looking for perfection, but obedience. KNOW… there is NO SIN that God cannot forgive. Three is NO sin he will not forgive, if we come to HIM with a willing heart. Many of us have come to HIM because of the mess WE made and finally realized HE is the answer. Is now your time to turn your life over to HIM? It will be a decision you will not regret.
WHY do I discuss this here ???…. Because I see Elihu trying to express that our actions DO matter to God, regardless of everything else that is going on in the world, in our job, in politics, in our home, with our finances, with our marriage, with our health, etc. He cares. However, there ARE consequences for the choices we make. God STILL LOVES us, He wants us to confess our sin and CHOOSE Him, but our actions still have consequences.
An example of consequences ~~~ IF we went to the top of a ski slope, made a large snow ball, took our energy to push this large snow ball down the slope .. the large snow ball would roll downhill, continue to get larger, gain speed and potentially harm other skiers on the slope. Even if we repent of pushing this snowball down the slope as we watched it grow and begin knocking skiers down … God would forgive us because we ASKED for forgiveness. However, He is not going to stop the snowball. The potential consequences could be that the many people are physically harmed, the huge snowball crashes into the ski lodge, and even worse you could get sued for endangering the lives of people as well as property damage.
Chapter 36 – vs 26 “How great is God – beyond our understanding!!”
Chapter 37 – vs 5 “HE does great things beyond our understanding!!”
Elihu makes some great points in his presentation. And he HAD to be getting the attention of Job and his friends because no one is even trying to say anything!! HOWEVER, even with the many many truths that Elihu presented he was so close to helping Job but then went down the wrong path. It is SIGNIFICANT that after Elihu stresses that God is in control …. God Himself breaks into the discussion to draw the right conclusions.
The wonderful news is that WE do live with a God who cares deeply. Who is in control. HE wants to have daily time with us. WE have HIS Word to read to hear from Him. We have the Holy Spirit in us to guide us and teach us through his still small voice, through situations, and through relationships. KNOW that there are some circumstances you did not cause, your sin did not get you into the situation, but that God KNOWs where you/I need to be purified so we grow into more of HIS image and live more for Him.
So what do you guys think? Any questions, comments, ways God is speaking to you?
Sharing HIS love,