Scripture Focus: Job 34.34-37
34 “Men of understanding declare,
wise men who hear me say to me,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
his words lack insight.’
36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost
for answering like a wicked man!
37 To his sin he adds rebellion;
scornfully he claps his hands among us
and multiplies his words against God.”
Reflection: God Is The Hero, not Us
By John Tillman
Elihu quotes arguments that the friends have made and questions them, “Do you think this is just?” (Job 35.2) Elihu challenges the friends as often as he challenges Job.
When I was a young man, I thought Elihu was, in a way, heroic. I saw in him a young man taking a stand against old ways of thinking and reaching out to Job in kindness, but that picture is not exactly right. Elihu’s arguments aren’t that different from the friends’ arguments. Even though he starts out with a promise to not be heavy-handed, eventually Elihu seems just as condemnatory towards Job as the others. At this point in the story, though, we want there to be a hero. We sense that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.
Duane Garrett, in his commentary on this section of Job says:
“As we progress through the Book of Job, we feel the same distress Elihu voiced. We are sure there is something wrong with Job’s comments but are aware that the three friends failed to answer him. We try to find an alternative answer…We thrash about for a solution much as Elihu did and repeat old arguments without knowing it. And if we are not careful, we fall into the same vain certainty. We think we are wiser than Job and his friends put together. Job and his friends were each wrong in his own way, but so are we. We need to hear the voice of God.” — “The Poetic and Wisdom Books.” Holman Concise Bible Commentary.
Nobody’s perfect except God. That’s the most repeated argument Job’s debaters circle back to. We sense that Job needs a hero. Will it be the friends? No. Will it be Elihu? No. Every human hero fails.
The hero Job (and we) needed is coming—is here. God’s entrance is just around the corner, just around the bend, arriving in the next few turns of the page…in some ways, he is already here.
One of the deep mysteries of the Bible is that we are separated from God by our sins, yet he is with us and longing for us at the same time. The already and the not yet are side-by-side. God is the hero we all need and he is coming to us right where we are when we are ready to listen to him.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
I will bear witness that the Lord is righteous; I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High. — Psalm 7.18
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Job 34 (Listen – 3:26)
Psalm 45 (Listen – 2:17)
Read more about When Nations Pray
Help us to incarnate a gospel that evangelizes and emancipates those in need as a real and relevant demonstration of our living Christ.
Read more about Christ, the True Hero
Our cultural “superhero” lens can cause us to see ourselves as the “hero” in biblical accounts.