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

Scripture Text:

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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?


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