Elihu Continues To Speak (Job 35)

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Job 35

1. In conversation, when do you end up using more words without making more sense: When more sure of your position or less so? When angry and upset or when happy and joyous?

2. In prayer, when do you end up using a lot of words: When feeling righteous? When feeling God has not heard yet? When another person is listening?

3. God is seen by some as familiar and personal and by others as transcendent and detached. According to Elihu, why is that?

4.  How does sin affect our relationship and righteousness with God (verses 5 – 7)? What difference does it make whether we sin or not (verse 3)?

5. Why does Elihu say that God hasn’t answered some prayers (verses 12 – 15)?

6. Does his description of God strike you as quite intimately involved, or does Elihu’s God detach himself from Job? Why no answers to prayer?

7. What tells you that you’ve “made contact” with God?  When in your life has it seemed that God was just not answering a prayer of yours? What did you do then? What reasons were you given?

8. Have you ever thought that God didn’t care or that He was judging you for some sin or lack of faith in your life? What was that period of silence like?

Elihu Continues To Speak (Job 34)

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Job 34

1. Who owes us “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”?

  • our Creator?
  • our country?
  • our community?
  • our family?

2. Where do you go to find “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?

3. What do you say to the person whose life motto is: “my rights, right or wrong!”

4. The self-appointed arbitrator, Elihu, summons Job to an earthly court to judge what is justice (verse 4). Since it is not appropriate for God to appear in a human court (verse 23), who does he use as judges? What are the charges brought against Job (verses 5 – 9)? And the verdict (verses 34 – 37)?

5. Why does Elihu rush to God’s defense (verses 10 – 15)? From Elihu’s perspective, who sets the ground rules for justice? Upon what basis does God determine what is just? According to Elihu, does man have an “inalienable right” to God’s justice or is it a divine gift?

6. How does Elihu characterize the way that God administers justice in this world (verses 16 – 30)?

  • totalitarian tyrant?
  • democratic leader?
  • enlightened despot?
  • human rights activist?

7. To what extent does humanity have an active part in administering God’s justice?

8. What “rights” does humanity have to experience the presence of God? From Elihu’s perspective, if God so chooses to hide Himself, what does His silence say about God? About humanity? Does God’s silence mean judgment? What else could it mean?

9. In the United States, we treasure certain “inalienable rights”. What rights do we have before God? Does God “owe” us anything: good health? prosperity? freedom from suffering unusual punishment? sense of His presence?

10. If we do have rights before God, how do we demand justice from him? If God’s justice is not based upon our rights, upon what is it based?

11. In what specific ways does a biblical view of justice (where the unrivaled God is the standard) come in conflict with our civil view of justice (where equality under the law is the standard)?

Elihu [son of Barakel the Buzite] Speaks (Job 32 and 33)

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Job 32 and 33

1. At what points during the past years have you found yourself speechless? Why? (Were you awed, outwitted, fumbling for words, suffering from a sore throat, or what?)

2. From his actions and words in chapter 32, how would you describe Elihu as a person? Would you want him for a good friend? Why or why not?

3. Why has he not spoken up until now? What might have happened if he had to listen any longer in silence? What finally motivates him to speak? Does what he have to say come from his head, his heart or both? Why should Job listen to Elihu rather than his three friends?

4. At what points does Elihu restate Job’s position most accurately (chapter 33:9 – 11, 13)? At what points does he slant Job’s position? Has Job ever claimed to be “pure and without sin” (chapter 7:21; chapter 13:26)? Does he think God never speaks to man? Or that God is his enemy? What has Job claimed?

5. In what ways does Elihu show that God speaks (chapter 33:14 – 22)? Which of these ways seem most intelligible and credible to you?

6. What does Elihu view as the benefits of suffering view, as the benefits of suffering (chapter 33:23 – 28)? How can something good come from something evil?

7. How can sinful humanity be spared from going to the pit or grave (chapter 33:18, 24, 30)? What does he claim God promises, even in the midst of sin?

8. Why should Job listen to Elihu (chapter 33:31, 33)? According to Elihu, what will it take for Job to be cleared (chapter 33:32)?

9. Do you agree what Elihu that God speaks to us especially through suffering? How can illness be considered a message from God? How can God (who desires the very best for us) allow us to experience pain? If that is the case, are we right in saying, “Bring on the pain. I want to learn more about God”?

10. Think of a time in your life when you have suffered. In what ways did it change you? How did it affect your relationship with God? Were you ultimately “a better person for it” or were you devastated by it?