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What is the difference between Job’s three friends and Elihu, the fourth man who finally spoke to Job after the others had their say? They were older and presumably wiser men. They had experienced life on earth and gathered much knowledge. Elihu, on the other hand, was younger and inexperienced; he knew to be silent when elders spoke; he wasn’t presumptuous or arrogant or wise in his own eyes. In humility, he knew he had much to learn.
Yet, it was Elihu’s words that struck home. How is this? Here’s the difference:
Judging by the letter, one can see that the words of Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite were logical, reasonable and even Scriptural. So what was wrong with what they were saying? Answer: they counseled Job according to their wisdom of learning and experience. Their wisdom, as good as it may be in the right place and time, was carnal.
Did you know that the meaning of the Hebrew word “nachash,” translated “serpent,” is “to learn by experience” and “to diligently observe”?
A primitive root; properly to hiss, that is, whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate: – X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe.
There is nothing wrong with experience or diligently observing something. What is wrong, however, is relying on these things when only revelation from God will do. And that’s why the Lord found fault with Job’s “comforters.” They were speaking by wisdom of experience, of logic and reasoning, by Law instead of by revelation of the Spirit of God. They came as Satan, angels of light savoring the things of man – “comforters.” And when Job didn’t agree with their self-righteous judgment of him, they accused and condemned him without uncovering any sin. Under their sheep’s clothing was the wolf out to steal, to kill and to destroy.
Elihu, on the other hand, came as one not full of himself. He knew enough to respect his elders; he knew to be patient and wait on the Lord, and the Lord came humbling men of stature and experience by speaking through someone young and “foolish,” someone without “credentials,” someone who, by reason, shouldn’t have been able to speak the Word of Truth and Correction to an elder in the midst of other elders.
“For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Corinthians 1:19-20 MKJV)
“Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are; so that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:25-29 MKJV).
Job had gloried in God’s Presence, as had his contemporary companions in their knowledge, wisdom and righteous conduct. It was time now for God’s glory to be manifest among them. It was the Day of the Lord.
By God’s authority, it was Satan who sent the Sabeans and Chaldeans against Job’s house to rob and destroy by sword. It was Satan who sent the fire from heaven to destroy his flocks and servants, and it was Satan who sent the great wind to destroy Job’s children. It was Satan who plagued Job with painful boils, troubled Job with nightmares, moved his wife to urge him to curse God, and it was Satan who spoke truths by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar to oppose and condemn Job to try him to his end. All this under the hand of God Who delivered Job into Satan’s hand but forbade Satan to take Job’s life.
Elihu spoke not by “nachash” or the serpentine experience and reasoning, which is what the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is all about, but by inspiration of the Spirit of God, by revelation. God was speaking not through the serpent’s servants, but by His weaker vessel, Elihu, a “virgin” vessel.
The Word of the Lord by Elihu inevitably struck home, for it is written:
“The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? says the LORD. Is not My Word like a fire? says the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:28-29 MKJV)
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring out and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do” (Isaiah 55:10-11 MKJV).
In the end, Job, the perfect and upright man, one who feared God and eschewed evil, was a broken man. The “first Christian” of serpentine (man’s) wisdom was gone forever. Job was delivered and could now rest from his works.
“For he who has entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Therefore let us labor to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:10-11 MKJV).
“And I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they shall rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (Revelation 14:13 MKJV).
Job was on his way to become a new creature:
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye has seen You. Therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6 MKJV).
Did the young man Elihu receive glory? He shared God’s glory by God’s grace, but we no longer hear of him. God received the glory.
As for Job’s friends, who had presented themselves as saviors, God was angry with them. Did He destroy them? No, God comes to save and not to destroy. And He saves by the mediation of the new creature in Christ. He had Job pray for his friends and in their obedience of His command, they were pardoned.
Thus, we see that, as with so many other testimonies, God’s will is to save all men, including those of the seed of the serpent and the serpent, as well. Didn’t Satan serve well in his position of destroyer? Did God not bring much good of Satan’s service for evil, as ordained? Shall God use him and then toss him away as a useless filthy rag? No, as it is written:
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell. And through Him having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven” (Colossians 1:19-20 MKJV).
Satan will no longer be the enemy. Just as men have been saved and are no longer the Lord’s enemies, so Satan will be transformed to be in harmony with all of God’s creation. If this is not so, then no man has any hope of life, for every man has been corrupt to the core, and Scripture clearly proclaims that no man can change himself from being God’s wilful enemy. Only by God’s grace and power is this possible. Man has been the satanic nature and has needed the Salvation of God through His Son, the Lamb in order to be reconciled to God, his nature changed.
Isaiah 11:6-9 KJV
(6) The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
(7) And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
(8) And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
(9) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Reader, are you offended to hear that all men and Satan will be redeemed? Then Satan must yet be dealt the death blow in you for your thoughts are anti-Christ. You can be thankful it will happen, for God has willed it. Until that happens, you will serve your purpose of enmity toward God until He has His day with you, and He will.