I think the key to understanding the book of Job is looking to Elihu. I recently went looking for my favorite Psalm of late, 35, and came to Job 35 and started reading. Elihu’s statements immediately caught my attention and gave me some insight into this difficult book that I have not had before. I had to turn back a few pages to the beginning of his monologue to Job and his three companions.
We find that Elihu has been very patient with these four elderly men. He has listened waiting for them to declare the truth of the situation and all four have fallen dreadfully short. The three friends of Job, acting on behalf of Satan accusing him of all manner of sin, lack any substance in their attack upon Job. It is amazing how prominent this sin is in the body of Christ. Just point to someone, declare them a sinner, and people come out of the woodwork to join in the chorus. I’m not alluding to false doctrine here, which should always be declared in comparison to sound doctrine, but declaring someone has fallen without a shred of evidence is clearly a sin.
Elihu is not only angry at these three men but also at Job because Job justified himself, rather than God. In other words, making a defense for himself, he turned to himself to declare his own righteousness. While it is biblical and just to declare ourselves innocent of the charges and accusations of others, we must also appeal to God’s righteousness and declare Him holy. If we are holy, it is because of His holiness and Spirit working in us.
As Elihu rebukes the four, he states: Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen (Job 37:13). He was in the midst of declaring the truth about God’s hand in nature. It is God who causes it to snow, to rain, to thunder, to do all those things we so wrongly attribute to some false “mother.”
Yet, the truth of what he declares in 37:13 is monumental in that it also applies to all the trials we face in life. It seems to be that Elihu is saying: “Look Job, God is sovereign in all these things, He is also sovereign in your suffering as well.”
And He is sovereign in all things, including our suffering, especially our suffering. How often we must go through suffering to be reminded of God’s hand in our lives. We need it to remind us that He has a greater purpose for us than our health, wealth, and well-being. If we truly belong to Him as Christians, He is in the process of sanctifying us, making us holy, making us ready for a holy place, making us ready to be in His presences. The process of sanctification, while unpleasant, is far more important than our comfort and ease. Remember, fools are on the road of ease, that leads to destruction. God has a better road for us, even though it is more difficult to travel.
Therefore remember: Whether for correction or for his land or for love, He causes it to happen. He does so for our correction, and out of His love for us, as any loving Father would.