In these chapters in Job, Elihu has the mic. He has been speaking since chapter 32, after “Job’s words [have] ended” (32:40).
Elihu has a different tone than the other three “friends” of Job. And what I see in chapter 34 seems to be a new understanding that neither Job or his friends have brought to the table.
Elihu is also not pleased with Job and Job’s words of piety and apparent blame that he places on God (because of Job’s insistence that he has not sinned the logic from Elihu seems to say that you could place blame on God for the losses and suffering). Elihu though sheds new light on the reason for the suffering of Job.
Elihu brings into the equation that God works in mysterious ways. We can ask, but we may not find out the reasons for such suffering. Yes, the trials of Job could come from his sin (like the other three have been demanding Job to acknowledge) but we cannot always know if this is the case. Elihu then, does bring something new to the dialog.
He agrees that God is almighty, and as the Almighty, he cannot do anything that is wrong. Elihu stands by the other arguments that God is just and he “cannot twist justice” (34:12). Then, he seems to strike a very necessary balance….
“But if he (God) chooses to be remain quiet, who can criticize him?” (34:29).
This is a balance that we pilgrims need to maintain. God is Almighty, the righteous one who does everything in a just manner. However, if there is something that appears to be wrong or twisted, the sufferer has to come to the resolve that God is still God. Perfectly able to deliver, but also perfectly able (and willing) to redeem and transform by not delivering with powers that can “part the sea” or “move mountains.”
He may (and does) choose to remain silent.
IN pain, suffering, trials, problems that are piling up, He has every right to remain silent.
This may be one of the hardest life lessons that pilgrims like us will face. These life lessons no doubt will take us right into eternity.
Yes, You are eternal.
Without a beginning, without an end.
You are Creator.
Yes, You are full of power.
Strong, powerful, mighty You are.
You are unmatched.
Yes, You know all things.
Seeing all things, nothing goes unnoticed.
You are El Roi (you see me).
Yes, you are near.
Walking with your people, guiding perfectly.
You are my Shepherd.
Yes, you are holy.
Set apart from your creation.
You are the unique One.
Yes, you are just.
Everything You do is right, You rule with justice.
You are the Judge.
Who am I?
I believe you can “fix this.”
Nothing is too difficult for You.
“But if you choose to remain silent,
Who can criticize You?”
Yes, You are God.
You can remain silent.
You can hide the answers.
You can withhold power.
You can, and You will.
You are God.