This is the conclusion to the story of Job. This is a book that has a lot of twists and turns, and we are left in the story a bit curious about the Lord’s plan for this man. Is this man just going to suffer? Is this man going to be made whole? What can such suffering teach us about the Gospel?
Job heard of the Lord, but now he sees the Lord. How is this different and what is significant about this transition?
Job has not repented in a true Godly sorrow, but instead continues to hold to his innocence. So, now the Lord is the one who continues with his speech to Job. Job is invited to hear that the Lord is good, gracious, merciful, and the Lord is perfectly just. We are invited to witness this speech, Job is invited to hear this speech, but will Job finally listen and concede the righteousness of the Lord?
Job clings and defends his innocence. He is a man who has not done anything to receive the punishment, the suffering, and the pain he has experienced. This is all out of line and how can the Lord do such a horrible thing to such a righteous man? Job fights for his day in court and now Job has his day to defend himself before the Lord. Will Job give an adequate defense? Will God concede that something has gone wrong?
Elihu is going to conclude his speech which concludes the counselors speaking. The counselors have told Job to repent of the sin that Job has committed, but Job has not committed a sin to deserve this punishment. However, Job has attached the integrity and purity of the Lord claiming that something has gone wrong in how the Lord has treated Job. Elihu has encouraged Job to drop his case. Will this man drop his case? Will Job see the goodness of the Lord?
Job is one who is suffering greatly. There is no doubt that Job has received some troubling advice from the counselors. However, is there something legitimate that needs to be called to Job’s attention?
Elihu waits for Job to answer, but Job gives no answer so Elihu continues to address his friend and the counselors. Elihu defends the justice of God and desires all to know that our God is definitely just. Has Job denied that God is just or is Elihu merely putting words in this suffering saint’s mouth? Do we really need to care so much about God’s justice?
Elihu continues to interact with Job. He is not happy with Job's attitude and Job's accusations against God. He now turns to Job and confronts his line of thinking. Will Job concede the words from this young man? Will Job continue his course claiming his own holiness and cling to his self righteousness?
Prior to Job 32 there have been a lot of words, speeches, and exchanges about suffering. The speeches are frustrating because there is no resolution on the horizon. The counselors and Job are finally finished with their bantering, but the book is not resolved. Job is the last one to speak, but his words are not all that God glorifying. Is there another man who can step up and offer some wisdom, offer some insight, or maybe a different perspective? We meet Elihu. Who is this man, and why has he been silent for so long?
Job is one who has suffered, but he is not someone that we would say is a champion. He is a man who continually rests in his righteousness while wondering how God can make such a righteous man suffer. We can chuckle and Job, judge Job, and point out Job’s problems. However, we still have not asked the deeper question: why is this book in our canon? What can Job’s suffering and self righteous speech teach us about our Christian walk, our bent, and our failure to see the gospel?