-Elihu continues his sharp reproof of Job in this brief chapter. He chastises Job with, “Do you think this is according to justice? Do you say, ‘My righteousness is more than God’s?’” He goes on, “For you say, ‘What profit shall I have, more than if I had sinned?’” Elihu answers these rhetorical questions for both Job and his friends. He beckons them to look at the heavens and see that the clouds are indeed higher than them. If Job has sinned, there is nothing that can be accomplished by acting this way toward the LORD, which Elihu deems as fighting with the Almighty. He questions further, “If your transgressions are many, what do you do to Him?” Then, he placates a bit, “If you are righteous, what do you give to Him? Or what does He receive from your hand?” But after that, he goes right back in with the accusation, “Your wickedness is for a man like yourself, and your righteousness is for a son of man (Job 35:1-8).” According to Zuck, Elihu’s main point here is that God is unaffected one way or another by the innocence or sin of man (The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty, John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Victor Books: Wheaton, IL, 1985, pg. 761). This nullifies God of emotion, though He does still have transcendent control over the matters of earth and Heaven (Exodus 34:6-7, Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
-The next half of the chapter Elihu makes some more general comments about people’s insincere cries out to God during anguish, which he will apply to Job’s situation. Elihu recognizes that humans are slow to acknowledge the LORD’s sovereignty in matters, especially when He is slow in answering. This, Elihu elaborates, is because of mankind’s pride. Therefore, he concludes, “Surely God will not listen to an empty cry, nor will the Almighty regard it.” He then accuses Job for doing even less than that by saying that Job was not beholding Him in his time of trouble. Elihu maintains, “The case is before Him, and you must wait for Him!” The young man finishes this section by stating that, “Now, because He has not visited in His anger, nor has He acknowledged transgression well, so Job opens his mouth emptily; He multiples words without knowledge (Job 35:9-16).”
-*Application* Elihu breaks a biblical principle by offering this sharp reproof of Job in this chapter (1 Timothy 5:1). His disrespect should cause us to ponder how we treat the older generation in our day. Too often, we make flippant comments or assessments that may need to be reconsider when it comes to our elders. This is another admonition to watch our tongues and use them the right way for peace, wisdom, and posterity (James 3:3-10). We must watch our own pride when it comes to these matters.
Verse to Memorize: Job 35:12