I woke up this morning…to find we were out of coffee filters. Me without coffee. Not good. This momma requires a few things to be recharged. Coffee. The word. And another cup of coffee. One of my kindred spirits, Shawnda, is the same way and I love that the first time she and her family came to stay with us in Hot-Lanta that she called to see if we were stocked up on coffee beans. Love it. I hear ya sister. So, my friends know I have to have my coffee. I have been known to knock on neighbors doors for coffee beans, sugar and milk…whichever I’m out of to make my morning cup when out of one of the three essentials! But never fear—without coffee filters, I pulled out the old faithful coffee press…
And my sweet friends know I have to have my princess cup. I remind my husband often that I am one because I’m the daughter of the King! Yum…coffee out of the press—as it should be.
Chapter 32 – Elihu is on the scene… This chapter introduces another perspective…another person to address Job. Elihu is among the crowd that has gathered—as as everyone stands silent (really speechless) after Job’s final speech and oath before God, Elihu has his opinion and cannot stand holding it in any longer. He says he was timid to speak at first because he is younger than the others, and although he does carry a bit of conceit–his intentions are good. To give himself credibility before saying his piece, Elihu gives four reasons what he has to say is worth hearing: 1) He is indignant 2) He is inspired 3) He is impartial 4) He is impelled. Elihu made it clear that what he had to say was from God—but go ahead and take note…because when God does appear on the scene very soon He ignores Elihu and everything that he had to say.
Chapter 33 – Elihu and his 2 cents – Although Job has already checked out of the debate, Elihu’s speech does offer some great insight into the purpose of suffering. Ole Elihu does argue that Job’s problems are a result of his sin (which we all know isn’t the case) but he also introduces another truth in this speech of hardship: to keep us FROM sin. And this is God’s grace (33:24).
This is great insight as later in the New Testament we will learn from Paul how God uses the thorn in his flesh to keep him close and from sin. Paul even learned to thank God for it (2 Cor. 12:7-10). None of us want a thorn in our flesh, to face hardship, to have something precious and dear to our hearts ripped away, to have a dark cloud over us, to have everything seem to go wrong…but we must remember it is not always because of sin. If you are in the Word, if you are close to the Lord and if you are a son/daughter of the Most High—it is most likely a gift from the Lord keeping you closer to Him—and FROM SIN.
P.T. Forsyth, a British theologian, once said “It is a greater thing to pray for pain’s conversion than its removal.” For Paul, what could have broken him down–instead BUILT HIM UP. While Job may feel he has had WAY TOO MANY THORNS (and I might agree) is doing quite well holding himself together considering the circumstances. Job after this speech because he is simply waiting for the Judge to appear. Some times, when things aren’t going our way—the world and those close to us will offer their opinions, their condolences…their 2 cents. Most will mean well, some may even be speaking from the Holy Spirit, but the ONLY One we must wait upon is HE…THE LORD!
Build us up Oh God! When hard things come–use them to draw us unto you. Be our Rock. Help us to stand strong with YOUR strength. Oh that we should not cry “WHY?” but instead “your will be done”…”to you be the glory”…”hold me tight”…”breath Your life in me”…”redeem this Lord for your glory!”
Chapter 34 – Elihu tries to explain and defend God in this chapter as he feels Job has spoken of God wrongly saying he is an unjust God. So, Elihu is simply trying to prove God is a just God here. He gives 2 arguements here: 1) If God is unjust, then He is not God and 2) If God were unjust, there could be no just government on earth. There was truth in what Elihu says here, only he chose to park on the subject of God’s justice and left out God’s love. Have you ever been to a church that preaches more on God’s judgement (scare ya into heaven sermons)? Get your ticket to heaven right here! But our faith is not a safety net—and I don’t want my children to just get God’s judgement—more than anything I want them to know God’s LOVE.
If the Lord doesn’t take away your burden, remember He will give you the strength to carry it–and even a song to sing through it! Come to Him today–whatever your burden and ask Him to be your song as you continue the race He has put before you to run…