So after that big wind up Elihu launches but it is not anything like what I expected. I expected him to really come down hard on Job and to call him out for his unfaithfulness and just get over it like everyone else does. But instead there is a very intellectual approach to the whole matter at hand. He begins by building up his own credentials by stating that he is no different from Job. Both of them are the clay and God is the potter (vs.6), so he understands what it feels like to be in Job’s position.
But he begins in a very passive, aggressive way to chastise Job in vs.9 by accusing him of pretending that he is clean and without transgression. He doesn’t mock him, but calls Job out because Job insists that there is no iniquity in him. He calls Job out for accusing God of being his enemy for no reason.
He then tries to give Job a tutorial on how we are able to hear the voice of God in the midst of suffering. He speaks about God revealing Himself to us through dreams (which is true by the way), and encourages him to follow the example of those who confess their sin so that God is given the opportunity to send His angels to redeem the guilty one from the miry pit. He insists that it is God’s intention and desire to draw everyone out of the pit. God’s purpose is to draw everyone out of the darkness and into the light.
I can’t really argue with that. I kind of like Elihu at this point. He is reasonable, he argues with conviction, and yet not with disdain. We do need people in our lives who will call us out on the mat but in a way that is gentle and kind and allows us to see our faults. Now Job didn’t really need his faults to be lifted up, but we do. His speech continues in the next chapter. Let’s see if he keeps the same tone as this chapter.