The Gospel of Elihu

Out to get me

The problem with manmade religion is that it views the Bible in a distorted way that glorifies self and diminishes grace. This can be seen in the way religion portrays Job as a good guy and God as a bad guy who sends the devil to do his dirty work.

Contrary to popular opinion, Job was not a giant of faith but a superstitious and fearful whiner, and God certainly did not send Satan to make Job’s life miserable. (Before you write to tell me I don’t know the Bible, please click on those links and read the relevant posts.)

Why are so many confused about Job? Because they’ve only read the first chapter. They’ve read the bit where it says:

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. (Job 1:1, KJV)

And the other bit where it says…

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:22)

If you only read chapter 1, you will conclude that Job was perfect, blameless, and an all-round saint. But keep reading and you will find that he was anything but perfect. But that’s okay because none of us is perfect and all of us need grace.

I’m not here to knock Job down – the devil already did that – but to lift God up. I want you to see that God is far greater than the devil and far better than religion makes him out to be.

So that you might appreciate the grace God gives to imperfect people, I want to look at three ways Job missed the mark. Job messed up. He got three things wrong about God and, if we are unacquainted with the gospel of Jesus, we will repeat his mistakes.

And because people sometimes write in and say “You’re adding to scripture” when I say things like “Job messed up,” we’re going to see how God responded to Job through his servant Elihu.

1. Job blamed God for his suffering

Job did not hesitate to attribute his suffering to a Lord who gives and takes away (Job 1:21), who gives both good and trouble (Job 2:10), and who had made his life bitter (Job 27:2). In Job’s understanding the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune come from the Lord’s bow:

Why do you shoot your arrows at me? (Job 7:20, NIrV)
The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison (Job 6:4)

When hard times come there is a temptation to point the finger at the Lord, but was Job correct in blaming God for his hardships? No. Near the end of the book he is confronted by a young man called Elihu. Elihu is the voice of wisdom and sanity and he says:

Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong. (Job 34:10)

If you think God gives and takes away, stop listening to Job and listen to Elihu. God won’t kill your kids or steal your wealth or make you sick. God gives good gifts, not bad gifts like cancer, and his gifts are without revocation. God doesn’t give us sickness to teach us character and he doesn’t take away things we are enjoying.

2. Job thought God was hostile towards him

Like many people who are going through hard times, Job thought God was out to get him:

Why do you avoid me? Why do you treat me like an enemy? … You bind chains on my feet; (Job 13:24,27)

Have you ever been in so much hurt that you thought God was trying to kill you? Then you’re in good company, because that’s what Job thought (see Job 30:21-23). But Job was wrong. Elihu, who had a much better understanding of God’s good character, spoke up to correct his misperception:

You have said in my hearing–I heard the very words… “God has found fault with me; he considers me his enemy. He fastens my feet in shackles; he keeps close watch on all my paths.” But I tell you, in this you are not right, (Job 33:8, 10-12)

Religion says, “God is mad at you, God hates you, God is sick of you.” But the gospel of Elihu declares that God loves you and is for you:

He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food (Job 36:16)

God doesn’t give us pain and trouble but he delivers us in our suffering and speaks to us in our affliction (Job 36:15). He does this because he’s our Father who loves us and cares for us.

3. Job accused God of being unjust

As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter (Job 27:2)

Read the Book of Job in one sitting and you’ll see Job’s descent into madness. At the beginning it’s all roses and religious soundbites, but by chapter 27 the mask has well and truly come off and Job is fed up.

God-Alive! He’s denied me justice! God Almighty! He’s ruined my life! (Job 27:2, MSG)

This is a serious accusation yet it is one we may be tempted to make. “God allowed this to happen. This is all his fault. IT’S NOT FAIR!”

What does Elihu say in response to this accusation?

Is there anyone like Job, who drinks scorn like water?… It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice. (Job 34:7,12)

God did not ruin Job’s life and he won’t ruin yours. Life is unjust. Life will beat you up. But God is never unjust.

If you are going through tough times, don’t follow Job down into the dunghill of self-pity and finger-pointing. Listen to Elihu:

Oh, [insert your name here], don’t you see how God’s wooing you from the jaws of danger? How he’s drawing you into wide-open places– inviting you to feast at a table laden with blessings?  (Job 36:16, MSG)

Be like David who saw, in the presence of his enemies, a banquet table prepared by the Lord (Ps 23:5). Your heavenly Father is for you, not against you!

I hope you can see that Job was not the sweet-smelling saint that religion makes him out to be. Although we have this perception that Job said nothing wrong, Elihu said, “Job, you talk sheer nonsense–nonstop nonsense!” (Job 35:16, MSG).

And this brings me to the best and final part of our series. Even though Job got it wrong in so many ways, God was for him and God brought him through to a spacious place. How did that happen? We’ll find out in the next post.


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78 Comments on The Gospel of Elihu

  1. INCOMING! head for the bunker Paul! They’ll be after you now!
    (whistling sound of artillery shells)
    Talk about putting your tongue on the Third Rail, now youve done it! SAINT JOB!?
    Dont mess with my Job binky, my little soother to keep baby from crying all night!!
    Next thing you’ll say , the apostle Paul and Our Thorn in the Flesh …ohhhhhh I cant take it!
    Oh the agony of this Grace stuff!
    Ill make popcorn and watch as the hornets’ nest empties out and swirls around your head for daring to disturb the MasoChrist segment of sanctified sufferers . If it hurts its good for me right?

    • Haha. I’ve learned to recognize a pattern – if I write about Job or Hell I’ll get bombarded. Every morning after a post on these subjects goes up, my wife asks me if I’ve been pummeled. “Not yet,” is my usual reply. Normally the initial feedback is positive, from people who “get it” straight away and can see the grace in the story. It takes the critics a little longer to marshal their thoughts. So if you scroll down a bit…

      • So far from what I’ve read of your posts on Job you seem to be judgmental and critical. If that is the case be careful. Your 10 facts on Job are not facts at all they’re your opinions and scripture does not support what you have stated about Job. Although Elihu’s counsel was more comforting than the other 3 men, I have not found where God said anything about Elihu’s counsel. Elihu presumes to speak on God’s behalf. After the Lord had spoken to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” I think any of us that had to go through what Job went through probably would have rather died then to continue to live and our thoughts probably would have been pretty close to how Job was thinking,

        Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

      • donbeeson // October 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm //

        Hi, Lupe. I would suggest you read the section “Frustrated” under Resources. on this site. Read all the articles there. That opened my eyes to grace like I never knew . And I came to know Christ at age 32. 33 years later I am finally free !! Most believers stay under bondage all their lives, thinking they are living by the Spirit. I can’t thank God enough for leading me to Paul’s site!!

      • I noticed that the option to reply does not exist in the comment of Lupe Morales. Something I find deceitful about what Lupe said was that “After the Lord had spoken to Job, the Lord said to Eliphas the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath”. The Lord made that statement in Chapter 42. The Lord was not speaking of Elihu speaking wrong but of Eliphaz and his two friends, whom Elihu himself was angry with (32:3), who would have been Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, which is found in Chapter 2 verse 11. Elihu himself stated in 32:10 he was giving his opinion and again in 36:2 he stated he will instruct thee, ” for I have yet to speak on God’s behalf. Good grief. Study to show thyself approved, a workman that does not need be ashamed (2 Tim. 2:15). Maybe that’s where the idea of putting one’s foot in their mouth came from, just sayin. Well, just rock on Paul, your every step, and word, is being guided by the Lord.

      • Since there is no reply to Don Beeson or John C I will reply here. Don I am a believer and love the Lord with all my heart. I am expressing my thoughts on how I feel about what I’m reading about Job. I am not frustrated and I thank you for your advice on where to go if I was frustrated but if I was I would go directly to my Father for help and I’m sure he would guide me as to what to do from there. John I was not being deceitful nor was I referring to Elihu with the scriptures in chapter 42. My statement regarding Elihu was in response to the statement in the article written above , “we’re going to see how God responded to Job through his servant Elihu. I apologize if I offended you.

      • 4given 4ever // October 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm //

        Oh am I being pummeled right now, by relatives! I’m looking for a post you have on “Jesus drinking the abomination and filth of man” if you have one, cause that’s the latest battering ram on my Grace door.
        You’re not alone, Mr. Ellis! So don’t you ever stop, for the sake of these angry legalists.

  2. Thanks for this. I’ve often thought that Elihu is a bit of an ‘unsung hero’ in Job’s story. Andrew Wommack reads that he is the author from a couple of things in the book. I love his prophesy of what man needs… A saviour, to intercede between man and God, and provide a ransom 🙂

    Yet if there is an angel at their side,a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright, and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them— let their flesh be renewed like a child’s; let them be restored as in the days of their youth’ Job 33:23-25

  3. Im thinking of somthing J Prince said ” you can listen to 10 teachings on grace and 1 on law and or mixture of law and grace and its like you have to start all over again,i over the years and still hear the religious nag in my head,oh Gods mad at you,you screwed up etc

    • YES, I do l know exactly what you mean Earl. Oh how I do!

    • That is a true statement Earl. It’s similar with all the good things my parents did when I was younger but I only remember the bad ones. Well, I remember the bad ones more vividly, I remember every spanking I ever got.

  4. I like it.

  5. Paul, what you have posted is so true. I wish I read that 25 years ago.

    All those years back I reacted angrily to someone who said a lot of nasty things to my face, so I reciprocated and when I saw the look of devastation on that persons face and felt so ashamed a little voice said in my head “because you have taken the life of this person with your lips I will take your firstborn child by the age of 10.” I spent those 10 years and believe it or not another 5 years living every day in fear waiting for the phone call “your son is dead”

    The reason I am sharing this is because I came to realise that I thought this came from God. You can imagine how that made think towards God and I wasn’t healthy. Even 5 years after the 10 I still lived with this fear and a perverted view of God. As I am writing this sentence my eyes are welling up because I can only thank Jesus that he released me from this and replaced a lie with the truth.

    I urge anyone reading this. If you feel you are under a curse then it is not from God. It’s a lie that needs to be rebuked and given up to God. Jesus paid the price and took our curse upon him. He alone sets us free. If we who are evil know to give good things to our kids how much more will our Heavenly Father give us good gifts. He loves us as much as he loves Jesus.

    • Whew. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure there are many who can relate. One of the greatest tricks of the devil is he gets us to identify with thoughts that aren’t ours or attribute them to the Lord. For those reading this who aren’t sure what to do with such thoughts, run them through Jesus. Would Jesus say such a thing? If not, then it’s not from your heavenly Father. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer 29:11)

      • The verse you quoted means a lot to me. I tell you the truth. The church I am in now I joined 24 years ago (1 year after what happened to me 25 years ago) That first day in my church someone who did not know me sought me out. They said to me “I see pain and hurt and fear in you. God has told me to tell you this”

        For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity”

        I was a long time in captivity and couldn’t understand why when I was seeking God with all my heart. I truly sought him but In fact I wasn’t seeking God with all my heart. I was seeking God with petitions based in fear. I even prayed “God don’t kill my son take me instead, what can I do to make you change your mind?

        When I started to seek God with all my heart, to know God for whom he truly is and what I meant to him then I was set free, I found him and he bought me back to him.

        I wanted to keep my son, pay the penalty that I thought was upon him because of me. Now I find myself giving my son back to God every day, not living in fear but thanking God for my precious gift of my boy and trusting God that my son is in him. My boy loves God and one day we will be praising God together forever.

        I’m no longer captive, my son is no longer captive to my fear.

        Sorry, well no I’m not I am going to shout THANK YOU JESUS FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME I LOVE YOU

      • Awesome! And to think I nearly didn’t post it.

  6. Hahaha!! good one Mr Paul, it is breath taking.. i think im ready now to read the book of Job with fresh understanding

    stay blessed

  7. Thanks Paul for sifting thru this for us. I was once afraid to read the book of Job because it scared me and with the way I’ve heard it preached, I was sure I was next! God is good…thanks for sharing. We appreciate your ministry.

  8. I appreciate your viewpoint on Job; however, I feel so sorry for Job! If we put ourselves in his place – lost everything – and when God finally talks to Job, he scolds and belittles him for being so ignorant. I love the Lord and trust that my understanding of this book does not alter God’s good judgment; but it seems to me (in my finite mind) that God is hitting Job just as hard as Job’s friends! This is a tough book for me! Also, whoever caused all the horrible things, it would not have helped Job one iota to tell him that Satan had done all of that to him. To tell him that would be terribly frightening because it would look as if God was not powerful enough to stop it. There are no easy conclusions with this story, in my humble opinion. Still the book ends giving God full credit for what happened. Job 42:11 …they consoled him (Job) and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him.

    • I agree that it doesn’t help to say “the devil did this,” but it surely helps to say “the Lord didn’t do this.”

      As someone who once knew a little about self-pity, I think the Lord’s response to Job is perfect in every way. Self-pity is insidiously destructive. When you’re in the pit of self-pity, you need a friend to give you a hard slap to bring you back to reality. Yes, some bad things happened to Job, but he made them much, much worse by allowing bitterness to take root and poison his heart. And look at how the Lord talks to Job. He doesn’t scold him so much as give him a lesson in perspective and wonder. “Where were you when I created everything?” Perspective was needed because Job had lost his. Job was self-absorbed but by the time the Lord finishing speaking his attention was on God.

  9. Richard Peifer // October 30, 2015 at 4:56 am // Reply

    This guy is almost too good to be true. Looks like I need to get copies of his books and learn something.

  10. Hey, Paul. Thanks for making so much sense out of Job. I never knew real grace til I read your posts. I’m like you. I’m excited to get out of bed . I know I’m not my sin. It tries to trick me into thinking that’s me. But I have Jesus’ perfect righteousness ! I don’t go slinking now asking God’s forgiveness or get puffed up with pride . The flesh is calor of doing a lot of good, as some atheists’ lives demonstrate .

  11. Satan could only strike Job when God lowered his protection. God did lower protection on Satan’s request, because Job needed a lesson?

    • You might be interested in the post “Is Satan God’s Sheepdog?

      • Ok, God didn’t want to teach Job a lesson by use of Satan. He didn’t give permission, but he surely made Satan’s actions possible by temporary lowering protection, knowing what Satan was going to do. Probably to get rid of the question.

    • I think there is something about Job that gave satan the legal right to do what he did. But there is much that I don’t know.

      • your right John, the Hebrew word used to describe the “hedge” Job had about him is suwk. which means a hedding up or around. Job did have a special protection from the enemy which required permission from God to trespass upon. Since Job was actually under Grace and not Law, just as we are today, Satan could not then nor can he now violate God’s property without permission.Another instance of this would be found in Luke 22:31,32 where the sifting of Peter was requested by Satan. I think it’s kinda like the Hebrews putting blood on the door posts in prevention of the angel of death visiting a particular home, it was by God’s command that it was done but if Satan had asked to violate that, for whatever reason, and God granted it then the story would be different. That last part just seemed logical to me for comparison.

    • We know from the word of God that satan led a rebellion in heaven. It would seem that God in His soverignty granted a certain amount of rank and authority to the angelic world. So when satan led his rebellion in the heavenlies he still had some kind of legal right. We know in Hebrews after the ressurection Jesus went to heaven and cleansed the holy of holies with His blood. We also know from scripture after the resurrection jesus said He now had all authority in heaven etc. plus we know satan was stripped cast down etc….satan has not been able to attend the God and sons of God meetings in heaven since the ressurection…there is more to this story than God allowed, God let,God permitted…

  12. I bought you a bullet proof vest and some rations to eat while your in the trenches 🙂

    Very encouraging Paul, thanks.

  13. 20 years back when I took a closer look, what stood out to me was Job comparing his charity as greater than God’s. Until then I had just thought of ‘the patience of Job’.

  14. Great post! Thank you.

  15. Lupe, my goodness brother, I am in no way offended, though I do extent my gratitude to you for your sensativity of the possibility, a godly trait I must say. In turn allow me to apologize to you if my words offended you in any way. I apparently misunderstood the intention of your comment. It took me a few months, to be honest with you, to take in this grace approach to scripture, being raised under the belief of mixed grace. As I continued to listen and read I began to understand, which fueled my own search for truth. After all scripture tells us to test the spirits, to make sure what you are being taught is truth, which I did and continue to do. I don’t think calling Job a whinner is appropriate considering what he lost, I try to put myself in his shoes, I mean I have lost my mother which I took very bad. I prayed earnestly for her. I had not seen her in several years due to finances but I did speak to her and out of her passing my relationship with my dad had grown much stronger, which is great considering I used to hate him. When my mother passed I was not happy with God at all, and for other things before and since then as well but I cannot get passed grace. This Amazing Grace Paul is speaking of is the exact thing John Newton was talking about when he wrote the song Amazing Grace. I do hope you take the opportunity to read, as Paul suggested, those things under “Frustrated?” which is found under the Resources title at the top of the page. Blessings.

    • Hey, Lupe and John! Lupe. I am not offended either. That would be the flesh, not the real me 😄 We are toddlers in this newfound grace. We need to be patient with each other as we crawl and walk hesitantly. John, I lost my mom in 2007. God worked amazingly in her life. I have missed her immensely. But I have never felt as close to God as I do now. I see hoe He orchestrated all of this to my good and meeting brothers and sisters on here is like having a new family! John, you are so right about the other John : ) Newton did understand grace as we are. I hadn’t thought of that , but you are so right, bro👍🏻👍🏻 Lupe and John, very glad to meet you. Lupe, please check out “Frustrated” John had his eyes further opened like I did. We don’t want Paul’s flesh to puff up lol But God has used him to set multitudes free! Love you, Paul 😘

      • This is confusing, donbeeson says but it appears to have the closing of Paul. Which is it? lol. The paragraph itself is wonderful and yes, I have had my eyes opened further, still have further to go but thank God I’m not where I use to be aye. I have question about Job. It appears Job had God’s special protection of some kind and I know that we have it as well. I’m not sure how it worked with Job but I know that we, as humans, have the tendency to step out of fellowship with God, God never leaves us. I will be studying the book of Job more intently. No offense Paul but as wonderful as you are I’m not comfortable just listening to someone else, I have to get my hands dirty so to speak but I’m convinced that Grace is where it’s at. Blessings, John C.

  16. John states that Jesus has made God known; has revealed Him, explained Him. Jesus stated that he had come so that they might know the one TRUE God. He also said that he does whatever he sees God doing and that whoever has seen him, it is the same as seeing the Father. So it is Jesus that has shown us what God is – not Job, not anyone else. This is the one TRUE God that is revealed in Genesis 1, and the real man in His image and likeness, and the real, spiritual creation. Genesis 2 presents a false representation of God and man, and this is where the BELIEF of good and evil and where the liar first enter the picture. If one’s reasoning about God is based on Genesis 2, it will always go round and round in circles and never lead anywhere.

  17. So timely in my life! I’m coming up against the traditional interpretation of Job and I really needed some truthful help. I just went and read your post “Is Satan God’s Sheepdog?” , and that helped even more. Thank you so much Paul. And instead of people coming against you, I pray they will put down their stones and “see if these things be true”.

  18. It just hit me. When I was saved , what caused me to trust Him for Eternal life was realizing I wasn’t as good as I thought . My flesh was “good”. I really thought I was least as good or better than anyone else morally. When I realized Thst was contrary to Ephesians 2: 8-9. I immediately asked Christ to save me , which He did. But I have used that same “good” flesh most of the time to try to live this life. I was on a constant see saw but knew no other way. I know now that my good flesh is what I’ve been trusting in to live THIS life and not Him. “Good flesh” is just as toxic as “bad” flesh. Neither one is me nor was it me before I was saved. The flesh was in my old body but that body is dead. The flesh still wants to control my new man but the new man has the Holy Spirit. I, the new man, am not my sin . All my life I have listened to it –always as the unregenerate man but for a large part of my post-conversion I have used the flesh to approach God and not rest in Him. I have t felt this pumped since the first few months after I was saved.

    • You have been on milk for awhile and have just bit into a nice juicy steak, you like it don’t ya 🙂

      • donbeeson // November 3, 2015 at 8:39 am //

        I sure do lol I’ve escaped from jail : ) I have had many miracles in my life and inner promptings . I totally see how those have been God working in my life. But I spent so much time trying to live the life HE was supposed to live through me. I was getting in His way constantly but He never gave up. I love Father God and Jesus now more than I ever have . I think that somehow our blindness was part of His plan. Because we struggled so long and hard, we can enjoy the rest and abide in Him. I feel like Dorothy and her ruby slippers . Like her, we’ve had within us the way home ever since we were placed in Christ — Him living through us as Paul said he did in Galatians 2:20 .

  19. Ha. network in ghana sucks. Have been trying to share my heart when you published the 1st prt of Job .Anyway,I am thankful to God that I realised my true nature through the law. Actually,I have heard stories about Job but had not read the entire book. Usually, we wake up each morning asking God to forgive us our sins probably thinking we may have sinned during the day. Yea surely we sin day in and day out. Job also acted the same manner by offering sin sacrifice on behalf of his children. Job was always sin conscious. Likewise those who go to God asking to be forgiven daily are sin conscious and live in fear. Such are unbelievers because they don’t have any assurance. Elihu condemned Jobs rightful thought therefore Job had to forsake his self righteousness and receive the righteousness of God. In the bible, Jesus condemned self righteousness on several occasions. Matt.5:20.Unless your righteousness exceed that of the pharisees and Scribes you shall not enter into the Kingdom of God. He preached the law so that people may let go of their righteousness. After I receive the righteousness of God I cease to confess sins daily because the Blood of Christ redeemed us once and for all.I confess Christ instead. heb.10:14.He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. No more sin consciousness but rather Christ conscious and His Finished work on the Cross. Thanks Paul..God bless you and everyone who support the law of Grace.

    • Hi, Emma! That’s great. God has shown me also that scripture where Jesue said unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees you will not see th kingdom of God. As you said we can’t earn that . Romans 10:9-10 makes it clear that I is solely based on our faith in Christ. I really like that righteousness comment about Job. I never saw or heard that befor but makes perfect sense to me now thanks to you!

  20. Satan imo didn’t need permission nor does God go around seeking where he may give permissions to the devil to harm his Beloved sons and daughters, lol.

    Satan already had the right, for the Lord Himself said Look (Hebrew) all that he has is in your hand. He wasn’t giving permission, He was declaring what already was.

    Thats what Satan would do in those times all the time, all day and all night, and that is accuse (Rev 12:10-11). It is by the Blood of Jesus that we overcome not our works, it is Gods righteousness that matters not ours (Job 33:26).

    Jobs claim to a life free from trouble was his works (Job 31), I mean my God the man goes on and on about how good he is -_- .

    His name also means afflicted… Praise God for parents with good naming skills XD.

    I believe job fell from Grace by his believing, if you see how he was speaking from the beginning, you will see its full of mixture of law and grace (Job 2:10). Job was deceived into thinking he deserved both blessing and cursing, and also blessing by his works.

    That ought not be Beloved (Jms 3:10-12), and we all know how the Lord feels about mixture (Gal 1:6-9, 3:1-3, Jms 1:17).

    • Bro. Anthony, it appears we have run into a subject of which there is some great discussion, which is a good thing. Ya see I believe Satan did need to ask permission to afflict Job for the simple reason of what is stated in Job 1:10. I have gone to and checked out the interlinear version of that scripture which states that the word “hedge” is the Hebrew word “suwk” ( transliteration) and is a verb meaning, in Strongs definition, sûwk, sook; a primitive root; to entwine, i.e. shut in (for formation, protection or restraint):—fence, (make an) hedge (up). Now Peter went through a similar ordeal in Luke 22:31,32. I’m more familiar with Peter’s circumstances than Job’s. We find in Matthew 16:23 that Jesus told Peter “Get thee behind me Satan”, when Jesus began to disclose what must happen to him and Peter was rejecting it. Peter apparently had his own ideas of what Jesus should do. Peter’s denying Christ 3 times in Mark 14:66=72 is often referred to as a weakness of Peter but I think it was not so much a weakness as it was Peter’s attitude to not be discovered who he was because of a plan he had to free Christ, again his idea of what Christ should do. I think that because of a Catholic article I had read which portrayed Peter’s actions as different than I had ever heard before, there are different ways it can be understood but nontheless. Scripture compliments itself so what in the story of Peter is a repeat of sorts in Job? I’m still working on that but it appears Peter’s attitude is what got him in trouble, his way vs God’s and God won, does that make any sense?

      • Thx John C. Indeed Peter’s denials were not out of weakness, he wanted to free Jesus, but suddenly he realised Jesus had to die. His whole image of Jesus’ kingdom soon on earth was gone.

    • All that he has is in your hand, is not a declaration of what already was. It’s saying: allright, protection is lowered from now. Probably because of the believes and attitude of Job, Satan made a point.

      • But it was a declaration as we see the declaration ” behold “. look up other scripture with “behold” and you will see it is just stating a fact of what is. . .

      • It was a declaration of what is, but not what already was. Self-righteous Job had full protection before the declaration, he still was a servant of God.

      • Knight rider If I am understanding correctly I think you are saying that God lowered protection due to Jobs beliefs and attitude. In the Book of Leviticus we are taught that if one person sees another inflicting evil and does not help he is just as guilty. Where does that put God in this scenario?

      • knightrider365 // November 14, 2015 at 3:23 pm //

        Shelly, it was on request of Satan that God lowered protection, but with restrictions. Why is only a guess. Maybe it was a request He couldn’t refuse. At the end God rescued Job and full protection was restored.

      • Hmmmm Did God lower His protection on Adam And Eve in the Garden? No…they did.
        Did God lower protection on the people in the flood. . . No they did, they refused to get on the ark. Did God in His soverignty give authority to man on earth to choose life or death…..yes He did. God was limited to act on Jobs behalf due to righteous Job having some incorrect beliefs of the God he had heard of. When Job saw God for who He WAS, IS, and AM ( Job 42:5 ) God hands were untied. We do the same today, Mark 7:13.

  21. So, so, so, so good. Then what are we to make of James 5:11 “You have heard of Job’s perseverance.”

    Sounds like Job at least got recognition for longsuffering . . .

    • I have an article on that very scripture coming out soon.

    • Not at all, because your explanation itself involves mixture. Exactly why Job found himself in the predicament that he fell into… (See Job 1:21, 2:10) From the very beginning he spoke a mixture of the Lord blessing him with one hand and cursing him with the other. He was quite confused, Elihu tells Job: *Job 27:30 AMP “So shall it be told Him that I wish to speak? Or should a man say that he would be swallowed up [and destroyed by God]?

      All he did was blame God and boast of his self-righteousness until the end of the book of Job when he repented of his ignorance after God spoke with him.

      The Lord also rebuked his two friends: GOD’S WORD® Translation (Job 42:8) “So take seven young bulls and seven rams. Go to my servant Job, and make a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you. Then I will accept his prayer not to treat you as godless fools. After all, you didn’t speak what is right about me as my servant Job has done.”

      My previous post pretty much disarms your response, Job fell under a curse with his “different gospel” he preached, he became one who perverts (Gal 1:6-9), God also calls Jobs two friends fools (stupid), sound familiar?… (Gal 3:1-3)

      I’ll leave you with this… *Holman Standard Bible* (Isaiah 54:17) “No weapon formed against you will succeed, and you will refute any accusation raised against you in court. This is the heritage of the LORD’s servants, and THIER RIGHTEOUSNESS IS FROM ME.” This is the LORD’s declaration.”

  22. I have some questions that I mentioned on your FB page… I just want to ask what is the true New testament view on suffering?

    • Hi Pinky, please note that I don’t normally publish comments longer than 250 words, as per E2R’s Comment Policy. A good place to raise questions is on E2R’s FB page. Where does suffering come from? I think your experience answers your question – it comes from living in a world marred by sin. To quote the Princess Bride, “Life is pain, highness.” Suffering never comes from the Lord.

      • Thanks I wrote you a comment and I think it did not send Just wanted to thank you for getting back to me. i will tell Alvin Lee what you said. Other believers are saying believers do not suffer if they do they are not saved. I know he is saved but wanted to have a more authoritative word for him. Cute using Princess Bride. 🙂 From now on you can call me your highness! 🙂 -Pinky

      • I just stumbled upon an old thread where I talk about suffering. You may be interested.

      • Thanks! I have a jpeg coming tonight that KC made based on your Job teachings and our exchange and so many who are asking me (of all people) to pray for them and help them out. I have never blamed God but just kind of thought I will have to suck it up after all we live in a fallen world! There were times I have been miraculously healed life saving healings and know of God power and love but when I have been healed it was kind of in spite of myself. I actually did not even pray in one case because I was supposed to get paid for a medical study. But the last year and a half through you and Joseph Prince, me and the hubby are learning about our authority in Christ and so on. I actually started an all night prayer meeting at one church I went to so I am learning to pray effectively and your teaching on prayer is life changing! So where we are now is praying for restoration and to move to Hawaii for health reasons and legal reasons. Thanks so much!

  23. Thanks Paul, for writing this.
    My aunt brought me to Christ when she was going through an awful crisis (infidelity, divorce – a great time of stress) and I remember her telling me at that time she had prayed “Please, Lord – don’t make me another Job”. She was also newly saved, but had clearly been taught that God both loves us and is willing to toy with us. Thanks Jesus, that we’ve both been delivered from such horrendous teachings. Our Father adores us. Do we think our love for our own children is above His for us?
    The test of the Gospel is simply this: Jesus IS the express image of God – so where do we find in any of the four gospels an example of Jesus toying with anyone? The woman at the well – did He break her leg to bring her closer? Did he give the lame blindness? The deaf, palsy?
    God was not Job’s source of destruction. It astounds me how willing the Church is to attribute such horrific acts to our Father that we ourselves would never do to our children.
    And in relation to this post, how so many confuse Elihu with Eliphaz!
    Blessings to us, and an exhortation that the Cross has changed everything. The book of Job is not intended for neither Israel nor the church. We have a very certain and final covenant that will never be altered: The work of the Cross is complete.

  24. Thank you dear brother for sharing with us in the spirit of truth. I am very happy that you also saw that Elihu is a type of Christ. Elihu’s speech and the Lord’s speech are the same in Spirit, the only difference is one from human perspective the other from the Father’s. Elihu (which in Hebrew means God-Himself) is young and also a friend just as Jesus is. I believe Elihu was transfigured (as Christ was on the mountain) and the Father answered out of the whirlwind same as He did in the presence of Peter and John. Why I believe this? Because Job said “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye sees you.” (Job 42:5) Whirlwind cannot be seen just as the Father cannot be seen but Jesus has shown us the invisible Father.

  25. “God doesn’t give us sickness to teach us character and he doesn’t take away things we are enjoying.” Actually you skipped over Job 33:14-30 and in those verses Elihu is in fact saying this to Job. You can read this quite clearly in the updated Amplified Version…

    • I’m not sure which Bible you’re reading but in the Amplified Bible the Gospel of Grace comes through loud and clear in Job 33. Here’s a taste:

      Then [God] is gracious to him and says, Deliver him from going down into the pit [of destruction]; I have found a ransom (a price of redemption, an atonement)! … He is favorable to him, so that he sees His face with joy; for [God] restores to him his righteousness (his uprightness and right standing with God–with its joys). He looks upon other men or sings out to them, I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it did not profit me, or He did not requite me [according to my iniquity]! [God] has redeemed my life from going down to the pit [of destruction], and my life shall see the light! (Job 33:24, 26-28)

      Who is our ransom or price of redemption or atonement but Jesus? How does God show favor and give righteousness to us but through Jesus? Why does God not treat us according to our iniquity – because of Jesus!

      There is certainly nothing here to suggest that God makes us sick to teach character.

      • In Job 33, you keep skipping over verses 14-22 and 29-30. The meaning of these verses is clear in the Amplified Bible (in both the updated and Classic versions). As you said, Elihu was the wisdom of God speaking to Job and was not rebuked by God nor was it said he spoke wrongly about God.

        Elihu says that God may speak to or discipline a man with pain in a bed of sickness (verse 19), but instead of it just being punishment, Elihu insists it is for their redemption to bring them back from the pit and to have life (verses 16-17, 26-28). Because in distress man calls out to God and God is merciful. Job thought he was really tough stuff. He did not start to complain though until the loss was in his own body and it went on for some time frame. We see the prideful attitudes throughout the dialogue with his friends.

        God will use suffering to discipline a man to turn back to Him if needed. I don’t think that all sickness is this way, but Elihu certainly states it is possible for God to use sickness to get man’s attention if they do not listen to His other attempts of instructions (v 14-17). We may not like it or it may go against our ideals, but that’s what Elihu says in these verses.

      • There are two issues: (1) God gives us sickness, (2) God works in our circumstances to bring about his purposes. The first is nonsense; the second is Romans 8:28. Elihu never says the first thing, but the second.

  26. Seems God has given us 3 things..His Word by which we can know and understand His Personality…He gives us His Spirit which is the author of that Book we have( what better commentator on a reference book than the Author Himself?) Lastly He gives us teachers of that Word to give us the sense and meaning ( cf Nehemiah 8: 7-8) beyond our own intellect.
    Instead He sends juvenile leukemia to instruct a 4 yr old and his griefstricken parents, etc.?

    What MasoChristic drivel. They told Andrew Wommack God needed his dad in heaven more than Andrew did so he died when Andrew was 12..If we follow this path of the Vanity of Human Reasoning we end up in Isaiah 8: 20-22..not speaking according to His Word,hungry and in peril, cursing God for it all and seeing nothing around but further (blessed) anguish and travail.
    Truly there is a wisdom from Above and one from Beneath, with decidedly different fruit, either sweet or bitter…
    Merry Chriatmas Paul!

  27. Though I will always agree that God never put evil onto Job or even allowed it as tradition says, I can’t altogether agree that Elihu was some kind of gospel messenger from God. There is no settled debate about the validity of Elihu’s speech. Many theologian differ on this speech. The only reason I can see as to why some see Elihu as a gospel messenger or a spokesman for God is because he wasn’t rebuked. Yet, in Job 1 it is clear that Job blamed God for taking away his possessions and family. But verse 22 says clearly Job didn’t blame God or did it? It says he didn’t blame God foolishly. That is key in understanding this book. Job didn’t have any other knowledge and he was sincere, but sincerely wrong. But he was operating in the light he had. The three friends made accusations and didn’t walk in the light of the truth. Hence, their rebuke. Elihu made statements that are contrary to the New Covenant and he did accuse Job of some secret sin. In ch 36 he promotes a performance based gospel and that if one disobeys God will kill them. Point is Elihu pointed Job to something greater than himself and tried his best to present God as just. He was faithful to what light he had and that’s why there was no rebuke, but to say he was some mediator or messenger is a real stretch, and one I cannot see.

    • Of the four friends who came to counsel Job, Elihu was most on target. Sure, he was no apostle of grace, but he had the best understanding of God’s character. While the others are all sin-focused, he is thoroughly God-focused: “This is the way God works. Over and over again he pulls our souls back from certain destruction so we’ll see the light–and live in the light!” (Job 33:29-30, MSG).

      • The reality is this my good friend, that Job was experiencing an attack from the enemy. As a person who hadn’t committed a particular trespass, he couldn’t figure out why this bad thing occurred. In this Job was correct. Where he missed it was blaming God for the suffering, and his self righteousness. The three friends say God is punishing him for some transgression. Elihu does his best to speak about God being just but he taught that Job was being chastened by the Lord, and won’t afflict without cause. But the truth was that Job was being attacked, and none of the five understood this. Elihu states just listen to me and you won’t need to hear from God, well God did appear thus not giving credence to this speech. God also didn’t acknowledge him either. Instead God pointed out the existence of the enemy and Job realized he was wrong about God.
        I know we can disagree some, but my Pastor Joseph Prince sees Elihu same as you my friend as some mediator between Job and God. I disagree but that’s why we all see through a glass darkly and we will figure more out as time passes. God’s good and He isn’t the author of evil or sickness or death or disasters and He is merciful and great, we do agree on the essential truths of this book! Blessings and grace my friend

  28. Well I believe the reason Elihu was not rebuked was that he was righteousness. He was righteousness not in conduct but by faith. The righteousness man is blameless and his prophecy in Job 33:23-28 alludes to the fact that he believes the gospel. This knowledge of the gospel was evidently missing in Job’s three friends.

    • John Cheeseman // April 26, 2020 at 5:20 pm // Reply

      You’re right about Job as being seen as the good guy and God the bad or mean. For many years I was confused about that until the Lord decided to teach teachable people who shared the truth with me. Thank you Paul

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