Elihu Contradicts Job s Friends Job 32:1-37:24

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1 Lesson 139 Elihu Contradicts Job s Friends Job 32:1-37:24

2 MEMORY VERSE Job 34:12 S urely God w ill nev er do w ic kedly, nor w ill the Alm ighty perv ert justic e. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: A small balloon for each child in your class and confetti One to two hula-hoops depending on class size (one for each 8 10 children. Scraps of fabric, felt, lace, yarn, etc., construction paper, scissors, glue, glitter, markers or crayons Tell children that the attention-getting signal you'll use during this lesson is clapping your hands three times. Ask children to respond by clapping their hands three times and focusing their attention on you. Rehearse the signal with the children, telling them to respond quickly so you have plenty of time for all the fun activities planned for this lesson. ATTENTION GETTER! I Just Gotta Say Something! For this activity give each child a small balloon. Have the children, or help them put just a little bit of confetti in each balloon before blowing them up. Have each child blow up their balloon and tie them. Then give each child a small pushpin and on the count of three have them all pop their balloons. Collect the pins back and ask for volunteers to help with the clean up after class. Be careful with the smaller children that they don t become frightened. You may want to substitute if you wish just blowing up the balloons and instead of tying them, just have them let the air out on the count of three.

3 Explain that today we are going to learn about a man by the name of Elihu. He had listened to Job s three friends and Job s answers for a long time. He had wanted to say some things himself, but he was younger than the others were. He was waiting and waiting. Finally he couldn t wait any longer and jumped in. Maybe he felt like he was about to pop like our balloons if he didn t say anything. Let s take a look at what was so important for him to share with Job. LESSON TIME! In our lesson today, we find Job in big need of real encouragement. His three friends tried their best to analyze and show their friend Job why he was in such a horrible situation. Their attempt to help their suffering friend only brought about more problems for Job. Job only got an ear-full of their own wisdom, and as a result, he laid his boil-stricken body on his bed of ashes with sorrow and pain. It s natural for us to sometimes think the worse about God s plan for our life when we are going through a difficult trial. Job wanted answers, but up till now, he was still wondering why he had to suffer. What was God doing and why was He allowing this to happen to him when he had done nothing to deserve such treatment? We will see from our lesson that God is never wicked or unjust. He had a plan for Job s life but Job was having a hard time understanding right now. J O B 32 S o t h e s e t h r e e m e n c e as e d an s w e r i n g J o b, be c au s e h e w as r i gh t e o u s i n h i s o w n e y e s. T h e n t h e w r at h o f El i h u, t h e s o n o f B ar ac h e l t h e B u z i t e, o f t h e f am i l y o f R am, w as ar o u s e d agai n s t J o b; h i s w r at h w as ar o u s e d be c au s e h e j u s t i f i e d h i m s e l f r at h e r t h an G o d.

4 Al s o agai n s t h i s t h r e e f r i e n d s h i s w r at h w as ar o u s e d, be c au s e t h e y h ad f o u n d n o an s w e r, an d y e t h ad c o n d e m n e d J o b. N o w be c au s e t h e y w e r e y e ar s o l d e r t h an h e, El i h u h ad w ai t e d t o s p e ak t o J o b. Wh e n El i h u s aw t h at t h e r e w as n o an s w e r i n t h e m o u t h o f t h e s e t h r e e m e n, h i s w r at h w as ar o u s e d. S o El i h u, t h e s o n o f B ar ac h e l t h e B u z i t e, an s w e r e d an d s ai d : " I am y o u n g i n y e ar s, an d y o u ar e v e r y o l d ; T h e r e f o r e I w as af r ai d, An d d ar e d n o t d e c l ar e m y o p i n i o n t o y o u. I s ai d, ' Age s h o u l d s p e ak, An d m u l t i t u d e o f y e ar s s h o u l d t e ac h w i s d o m. ' B u t t h e r e i s a s p i r i t i n m an, An d t h e br e at h o f t h e Al m i gh t y gi v e s h i m u n d e r s t an d i n g. G r e at m e n ar e n o t al w ay s w i s e, N o r d o t h e age d al w ay s u n d e r s t an d j u s t i c e. " T h e r e f o r e I s ay, ' L i s t e n t o m e, I al s o w i l l d e c l ar e m y o p i n i o n. ' I n d e e d I w ai t e d f o r y o u r w o r d s, I l i s t e n e d t o y o u r r e as o n i n gs, w h i l e y o u s e ar c h e d o u t w h at t o s ay. I p ai d c l o s e at t e n t i o n t o y o u ; An d s u r e l y n o t o n e o f y o u c o n v i n c e d J o b, O r an s w e r e d h i s w o r d s ; L e s t y o u s ay, ' We h av e f o u n d w i s d o m ' ; G o d w i l l v an qu i s h h i m, n o t m an.

5 N o w h e h as n o t d i r e c t e d h i s w o r d s agai n s t m e ; S o I w i l l n o t an s w e r h i m w i t h y o u r w o r d s. " T h e y ar e d i s m ay e d an d an s w e r n o m o r e ; Wo r d s e s c ap e t h e m. An d I h av e w ai t e d, be c au s e t h e y d i d n o t s p e ak, B e c au s e t h e y s t o o d s t i l l an d an s w e r e d n o m o r e. I al s o w i l l an s w e r m y p ar t, I t o o w i l l d e c l ar e m y o p i n i o n. F o r I am f u l l o f w o r d s ; T h e s p i r i t w i t h i n m e c o m p e l s m e. I n d e e d m y be l l y i s l i k e w i n e t h at h as n o v e n t ; I t i s r e ad y t o bu r s t l i k e n e w w i n e s k i n s. I w i l l s p e ak, t h at I m ay f i n d r e l i e f ; I m u s t o p e n m y l i p s an d an s w e r. L e t m e n o t, I p r ay, s h o w p ar t i al i t y t o an y o n e ; N o r l e t m e f l at t e r an y m an. F o r I d o n o t k n o w h o w t o f l at t e r, El s e m y M ak e r w o u l d s o o n t ak e m e aw ay. Job s three friends were convinced that there was some sin in Job s life that brought about his suffering. Their theory was that suffering is always God s punishment for evil actions. They would not move from their argument with Job so they stopped their discussion with him after he refused to admit any sin. But Job knew that he had lived right before God and others (ch. 29) and had avoided wrong thoughts and actions (ch. 31). Job wasn t going to make up a sin just to satisfy his friends.

6 Young Elihu now rebukes the three friends for being unable to give Job a reasonable answer for why he was suffering. He had remained silent until now because he was younger, but he couldn t hold back from sharing his thoughts any longer. Those who are older are said to be wiser, but age does not necessarily make men wise. Rather, wisdom comes from God who makes us wise (vs. 7-9). But certainly it is important that we respect those who are older than us. Elihu had recognized the truth that God was the only source of real wisdom, but he did not use God s wisdom to help Job. He seemed to know where wisdom came from yet he fails to seek the Lord to acquire it. Elihu would give his best answers to Job, but they would be incomplete. He had no idea of God s plan for Job s life. Job needed encouragement and support. It s hard to understand what God is doing in someone s life as they face a difficult trial. Instead of judging them, we should bring them before the Lord in prayer while supporting them with encouragement that God has a plan for their life. God is never wicked or unjust. Job was exactly where God wanted him to be in his life. J O B 33:1-11 " B u t p l e as e, J o b, h e ar m y s p e e c h, An d l i s t e n t o al l m y w o r d s. N o w, I o p e n m y m o u t h ; M y t o n gu e s p e ak s i n m y m o u t h. M y w o r d s c o m e f r o m m y u p r i gh t h e ar t ; M y l i p s u t t e r p u r e k n o w l e d ge. T h e S p i r i t o f G o d h as m ad e m e, An d t h e br e at h o f t h e Al m i gh t y gi v e s m e l i f e.

7 I f y o u c an an s w e r m e, S e t y o u r w o r d s i n o r d e r be f o r e m e ; T ak e y o u r s t an d. T r u l y I am as y o u r s p o k e s m an be f o r e G o d ; I al s o h av e be e n f o r m e d o u t o f c l ay. S u r e l y n o f e ar o f m e w i l l t e r r i f y y o u, N o r w i l l m y h an d be h e av y o n y o u. " S u r e l y y o u h av e s p o k e n i n m y h e ar i n g, An d I h av e h e ar d t h e s o u n d o f y o u r w o r d s, s ay i n g, ' I am p u r e, w i t h o u t t r an s gr e s s i o n ; I am i n n o c e n t, an d t h e r e i s n o i n i qu i t y i n m e. Y e t H e f i n d s o c c as i o n s agai n s t m e, H e c o u n t s m e as H i s e n e m y ; H e p u t s m y f e e t i n t h e s t o c k s, H e w at c h e s al l m y p at h s. ' Elihu encourages Job to continue listening with a challenge to disagree with him if he can. Elihu viewed himself equal with Job, for he said both were created by God. Therefore Job did not need to fear him for he would treat Job kindly and not be like his other three friends. Elihu had listened to Job very carefully and even quoted Job s very words (vs. 8-12). He reminds Job of his comments made about God s unfair treatment of him, even though Job felt he was not guilty. Job thought that God was using a fine-toothed comb to try to find a single fault, and so to count him as an enemy. He felt trapped while God watched every move he made. Have you ever felt like God wasn t on your side in a situation? It might seem like that when we are faced with a problem, but we need to remember that God is always for us.

8 Elihu told Job that he was wrong in accusing God of not doing right. Job was reminded that God is greater than man. Because of who God is he should not be questioned. God has reasons for everything He does, which may be beyond our understanding, and as God, He has the right to do as He wishes. As God s servant, Job needed to face the future knowing that he was in the loving care of a God who truly loved him. God is never wicked or unjust. No one can blame Job for wanting to know and understand why God was allowing him to go through such a terrible time. If God had told Job everything beforehand, Job would not have to show faith and trust in God. Elihu told Job that God was trying to answer him, but he was not listening; however, Elihu missed it on this statement. If God were to answer all our questions, we would not be stretched in our life to place our faith and trust in Him. Job s greatest test was not the pain and suffering but that he didn t know why it happened. Strong trials build strong faith. J O B 34:16-37 " I f y o u h av e u n d e r s t an d i n g, h e ar t h i s ; l i s t e n t o t h e s o u n d o f m y w o r d s : S h o u l d o n e w h o h at e s j u s t i c e go v e r n? Wi l l y o u c o n d e m n H i m w h o i s m o s t j u s t? I s i t f i t t i n g t o s ay t o a k i n g, ' Y o u ar e w o r t h l e s s, ' An d t o n o bl e s, ' Y o u ar e w i c k e d '? Y e t H e i s n o t p ar t i al t o p r i n c e s, N o r d o e s H e r e gar d t h e r i c h m o r e t h an t h e p o o r ; F o r t h e y ar e al l t h e w o r k o f H i s h an d s. I n a m o m e n t t h e y d i e, i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e n i gh t ; T h e p e o p l e ar e s h ak e n an d p as s aw ay ; T h e m i gh t y ar e t ak e n aw ay w i t h o u t a h an d.

9 F o r H i s e y e s ar e o n t h e w ay s o f m an, An d H e s e e s al l h i s s t e p s. T h e r e i s n o d ar k n e s s n o r s h ad o w o f d e at h Wh e r e t h e w o r k e r s o f i n i qu i t y m ay h i d e t h e m s e l v e s. F o r H e n e e d n o t f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a m an, T h at h e s h o u l d go be f o r e G o d i n j u d gm e n t. H e br e ak s i n p i e c e s m i gh t y m e n w i t h o u t i n qu i r y, An d s e t s o t h e r s i n t h e i r p l ac e. T h e r e f o r e h e k n o w s t h e i r w o r k s ; H e o v e r t h r o w s t h e m i n t h e n i gh t, An d t h e y ar e c r u s h e d. H e s t r i k e s t h e m as w i c k e d m e n I n t h e o p e n s i gh t o f o t h e r s, B e c au s e t h e y t u r n e d bac k f r o m H i m, An d w o u l d n o t c o n s i d e r an y o f H i s w ay s, S o t h at t h e y c au s e d t h e c r y o f t h e p o o r t o c o m e t o H i m ; F o r H e h e ar s t h e c r y o f t h e af f l i c t e d. Wh e n H e gi v e s qu i e t n e s s, w h o t h e n c an m ak e t r o u bl e? An d w h e n H e h i d e s H i s f ac e, w h o t h e n c an s e e H i m, Wh e t h e r i t i s agai n s t a n at i o n o r a m an al o n e? -- T h at t h e h y p o c r i t e s h o u l d n o t r e i gn, L e s t t h e p e o p l e be e n s n ar e d. F o r H i s e y e s ar e o n t h e w ay s o f m an, An d H e s e e s al l h i s s t e p s. T h e r e i s n o d ar k n e s s n o r s h ad o w o f d e at h Wh e r e t h e w o r k e r s o f i n i qu i t y m ay h i d e t h e m s e l v e s.

10 F o r H e n e e d n o t f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a m an, T h at h e s h o u l d go be f o r e G o d i n j u d gm e n t. H e br e ak s i n p i e c e s m i gh t y m e n w i t h o u t i n qu i r y, An d s e t s o t h e r s i n t h e i r p l ac e. T h e r e f o r e h e k n o w s t h e i r w o r k s ; H e o v e r t h r o w s t h e m i n t h e n i gh t, An d t h e y ar e c r u s h e d. H e s t r i k e s t h e m as w i c k e d m e n I n t h e o p e n s i gh t o f o t h e r s, B e c au s e t h e y t u r n e d bac k f r o m H i m, An d w o u l d n o t c o n s i d e r an y o f H i s w ay s, S o t h at t h e y c au s e d t h e c r y o f t h e p o o r t o c o m e t o H i m ; F o r H e h e ar s t h e c r y o f t h e af f l i c t e d. Wh e n H e gi v e s qu i e t n e s s, w h o t h e n c an m ak e t r o u bl e? An d w h e n H e h i d e s H i s f ac e, w h o t h e n c an s e e H i m, Wh e t h e r i t i s agai n s t a n at i o n o r a m an al o n e?; T h at t h e h y p o c r i t e s h o u l d n o t r e i gn, L e s t t h e p e o p l e be e n s n ar e d. F o r h as an y o n e s ai d t o G o d, ' I h av e bo r n e c h as t e n i n g; I w i l l o f f e n d n o m o r e ; T e ac h m e w h at I d o n o t s e e ; I f I h av e d o n e i n i qu i t y, I w i l l d o n o m o r e '? S h o u l d H e r e p ay i t ac c o r d i n g t o y o u r t e r m s, J u s t be c au s e y o u d i s av o w i t? Y o u m u s t c h o o s e, an d n o t I ; T h e r e f o r e s p e ak w h at y o u k n o w.

11 " M e n o f u n d e r s t an d i n g s ay t o m e, Wi s e m e n w h o l i s t e n t o m e : ' J o b s p e ak s w i t h o u t k n o w l e d ge, H i s w o r d s ar e w i t h o u t w i s d o m. ' O h, t h at J o b w e r e t r i e d t o t h e u t m o s t, B e c au s e h i s an s w e r s ar e l i k e t h o s e o f w i c k e d m e n! F o r h e ad d s r e be l l i o n t o h i s s i n ; H e c l ap s h i s h an d s am o n g u s, An d m u l t i p l i e s h i s w o r d s agai n s t G o d. " Elihu had the attention of Job and his three friends. He accused Job of being a sinner, associating with ungodly people, and claiming that man gains nothing by worshiping God (Job 9:30-31; 35:2). Elihu, like Job s three friends, expressed some words of wisdom, but they were buried under layers of his own wisdom. Job didn t associate with wicked people, but Elihu was correct in pointing out that Job was upset with God. Elihu explains that God is righteous. God doesn t sin and is never unjust. He has authority over all the earth and will be the one to bring justice in the world. If God were to withdraw His Spirit, all life would disappear and mankind would turn again to dust. God is never wicked or unjust. He is fair in all His dealings with us. Elihu was stunned that Job rebelliously questioned God s justice (v. 17), demanding that God answer him (v. 29) and show him where he had sinned (v. 32). Job was wrong in seeking to tell God what to do. He needed to renew that attitude of surrender, which pleased God. Since God is over everything, He will not stoop down to our terms, especially when we refuse to turn from our ways. We need to remember God s faithfulness and concern to complete the work that He has started in our life for His good pleasure (Philippians 1:6; 2:13).

12 J O B 35:1-3 M o r e o v e r El i h u an s w e r e d an d s ai d : " D o y o u t h i n k t h i s i s r i gh t? D o y o u s ay, ' M y r i gh t e o u s n e s s i s m o r e t h an G o d ' s '? F o r y o u s ay, ' Wh at ad v an t age w i l l i t be t o Y o u? Wh at p r o f i t s h al l I h av e, m o r e t h an i f I h ad s i n n e d?' Job had said he was innocent but felt that he would have been no better off before God if he had sinned (vs. 1-3). Elihu pointed out that God is supreme and because of His sovereignty, He is not affected one way or the other by man s innocence or sin. God is above mankind and not affected by man s sins nor does He benefit from man s good works. We cannot bribe God because we are good. God s standards for judgment will always be right. Because what we do does affect us, it makes a difference whether we sin or not. God was not answering Job s cries because of his pride, and up to this point in his life, he felt abandoned. Just because God fails to jump in right away in every situation doesn t mean He is unconcerned. God will do what is right in His time. We have His promise on that. We must not lose hope, but wait upon God. Our faithfulness to Him will not go unnoticed. Going Around and Around It seemed like Job s friends were sometimes just going around and around in circles with what they were saying. Sometimes it seemed they were saying the same things over and over. Sometimes we can talk a lot, but it is always important to make sure that we are seeking God s wisdom in the things we say. For this game you will need two hula-hoops. Have your class form two circles of 8 10 children. Have the children hold hands. One hula-hoop will go to each group. The object of this game will be to

13 have the children pass through the hoop and have the hula-hoop travel around the circle while still holding hands. Start by placing the hula-hoop between two children in each of the groups. When you say, go have them begin to go in a clockwise direction. The first child will put their head through and then their body and legs and get the hula-hoop to the next person. Remember that they can t stop holding hands while doing this. Have a fun time and see which team finishes first. J O B 36:1-23 El i h u al s o p r o c e e d e d an d s ai d : " B e ar w i t h m e a l i t t l e, an d I w i l l s h o w y o u T h at t h e r e ar e y e t w o r d s t o s p e ak o n G o d ' s be h al f. I w i l l f e t c h m y k n o w l e d ge f r o m af ar ; I w i l l as c r i be r i gh t e o u s n e s s t o m y M ak e r. F o r t r u l y m y w o r d s ar e n o t f al s e ; O n e w h o i s p e r f e c t i n k n o w l e d ge i s w i t h y o u. " B e h o l d, G o d i s m i gh t y, bu t d e s p i s e s n o o n e ; H e i s m i gh t y i n s t r e n gt h o f u n d e r s t an d i n g. H e d o e s n o t p r e s e r v e t h e l i f e o f t h e w i c k e d, B u t gi v e s j u s t i c e t o t h e o p p r e s s e d. H e d o e s n o t w i t h d r aw H i s e y e s f r o m t h e r i gh t e o u s ; B u t t h e y ar e o n t h e t h r o n e w i t h k i n gs, F o r H e h as s e at e d t h e m f o r e v e r, An d t h e y ar e e x al t e d. An d i f t h e y ar e bo u n d i n f e t t e r s, H e l d i n t h e c o r d s o f af f l i c t i o n,

14 T h e n H e t e l l s t h e m t h e i r w o r k an d t h e i r t r an s gr e s s i o n s ; T h at t h e y h av e ac t e d d e f i an t l y. H e al s o o p e n s t h e i r e ar t o i n s t r u c t i o n, An d c o m m an d s t h at t h e y t u r n f r o m i n i qu i t y. I f t h e y o be y an d s e r v e H i m, T h e y s h al l s p e n d t h e i r d ay s i n p r o s p e r i t y, An d t h e i r y e ar s i n p l e as u r e s. B u t i f t h e y d o n o t o be y, T h e y s h al l p e r i s h by t h e s w o r d, An d t h e y s h al l d i e w i t h o u t k n o w l e d ge. " B u t t h e h y p o c r i t e s i n h e ar t s t o r e u p w r at h ; T h e y d o n o t c r y f o r h e l p w h e n H e bi n d s t h e m. T h e y d i e i n y o u t h, An d t h e i r l i f e e n d s am o n g t h e p e r v e r t e d p e r s o n s. H e d e l i v e r s t h e p o o r i n t h e i r af f l i c t i o n, An d o p e n s t h e i r e ar s i n o p p r e s s i o n. " I n d e e d H e w o u l d h av e br o u gh t y o u o u t o f d i r e d i s t r e s s, I n t o a br o ad p l ac e w h e r e t h e r e i s n o r e s t r ai n t ; An d w h at i s s e t o n y o u r t abl e w o u l d be f u l l o f r i c h n e s s. B u t y o u ar e f i l l e d w i t h t h e j u d gm e n t d u e t h e w i c k e d ; J u d gm e n t an d j u s t i c e t ak e h o l d o f y o u. B e c au s e t h e r e i s w r at h, be w ar e l e s t H e t ak e y o u aw ay w i t h o n e bl o w ; F o r a l ar ge r an s o m w o u l d n o t h e l p y o u av o i d i t. Wi l l y o u r r i c h e s, O r al l t h e m i gh t y f o r c e s, Ke e p y o u f r o m d i s t r e s s?

15 D o n o t d e s i r e t h e n i gh t, Wh e n p e o p l e ar e c u t o f f i n t h e i r p l ac e. T ak e h e e d, d o n o t t u r n t o i n i qu i t y, F o r y o u h av e c h o s e n t h i s r at h e r t h an af f l i c t i o n. " B e h o l d, G o d i s e x al t e d by H i s p o w e r ; Wh o t e ac h e s l i k e H i m? Wh o h as as s i gn e d H i m H i s w ay, O r w h o h as s ai d, ' Y o u h av e d o n e w r o n g'? Elihu continues to defend God s justice and power in His dealings with man. He reminds Job that God is almighty and yet does not despise anyone since He is perfect (verse 5). Though God is just (vs. 6-7) He is also mighty, but He does not lack mercy. God is never wicked or unjust. Though Job had noticed that sinners seemed to prosper, Elihu reminded him that God restores His people who are suffering, giving blessings to them as He watches over them with care. He has a purpose for us when we go through trials (vs. 8-10). Elihu suggested that a godly sufferer who will listen to God with a desire to once again obey and serve Him would then prosper and enjoy contentment (vs ). Though Job s friends were more concerned that Job was guilty of sinful actions, Elihu was more concerned with Job s sinful attitude of pride. Elihu had cautioned Job to be careful not to let his anger lead him into speaking wrongly towards God (vs ). He was concerned that Job would let his suffering embitter him against the only one who could deliver him. God is all-powerful. Who can teach Him or say that what He does is evil? Instead, we should glorify Him for His mighty works, for they are clearly seen by everyone. God is never wicked or unjust.

16 J O B 36:24-37:24 " R e m e m be r t o m agn i f y H i s w o r k, O f w h i c h m e n h av e s u n g. Ev e r y o n e h as s e e n i t ; M an l o o k s o n i t f r o m af ar. " B e h o l d, G o d i s gr e at, an d w e d o n o t k n o w H i m ; N o r c an t h e n u m be r o f H i s y e ar s be d i s c o v e r e d. F o r H e d r aw s u p d r o p s o f w at e r, Wh i c h d i s t i l l as r ai n f r o m t h e m i s t, Wh i c h t h e c l o u d s d r o p d o w n An d p o u r abu n d an t l y o n m an. I n d e e d, c an an y o n e u n d e r s t an d t h e s p r e ad i n g o f c l o u d s, T h e t h u n d e r f r o m H i s c an o p y? L o o k, H e s c at t e r s h i s l i gh t u p o n i t, An d c o v e r s t h e d e p t h s o f t h e s e a. F o r by t h e s e H e j u d ge s t h e p e o p l e s ; H e gi v e s f o o d i n abu n d an c e. H e c o v e r s H i s h an d s w i t h l i gh t n i n g, An d c o m m an d s i t t o s t r i k e. H i s t h u n d e r d e c l ar e s i t, T h e c at t l e al s o, c o n c e r n i n g t h e r i s i n g s t o r m. " At t h i s al s o m y h e ar t t r e m bl e s, An d l e ap s f r o m i t s p l ac e. H e ar at t e n t i v e l y t h e t h u n d e r o f H i s v o i c e, An d t h e r u m bl i n g t h at c o m e s f r o m H i s m o u t h.

17 H e s e n d s i t f o r t h u n d e r t h e w h o l e h e av e n, l i gh t n i n g t o t h e e n d s o f t h e e ar t h. H i s Af t e r i t a v o i c e r o ar s ; H e t h u n d e r s w i t h H i s m aj e s t i c v o i c e, An d H e d o e s n o t r e s t r ai n t h e m w h e n H i s v o i c e i s h e ar d. G o d t h u n d e r s m ar v e l o u s l y w i t h H i s v o i c e ; H e d o e s gr e at t h i n gs w h i c h w e c an n o t c o m p r e h e n d. F o r H e s ay s t o t h e s n o w, ' F al l o n t h e e ar t h ' ; L i k e w i s e t o t h e ge n t l e r ai n an d t h e h e av y r ai n o f H i s s t r e n gt h. H e s e al s t h e h an d o f e v e r y m an, T h at al l m e n m ay k n o w H i s w o r k. T h e be as t s go i n t o d e n s, An d r e m ai n i n t h e i r l ai r s. F r o m t h e c h am be r o f t h e s o u t h c o m e s t h e w h i r l w i n d, An d c o l d f r o m t h e s c at t e r i n g w i n d s o f t h e n o r t h. B y t h e br e at h o f G o d i c e i s gi v e n, An d t h e br o ad w at e r s ar e f r o z e n. Al s o w i t h m o i s t u r e H e s at u r at e s t h e t h i c k c l o u d s ; H e s c at t e r s H i s br i gh t c l o u d s. An d t h e y s w i r l abo u t, be i n g t u r n e d by H i s gu i d an c e, T h at t h e y m ay d o w h at e v e r H e c o m m an d s t h e m O n t h e f ac e o f t h e w h o l e e ar t h. H e c au s e s i t t o c o m e, Wh e t h e r f o r c o r r e c t i o n, O r f o r H i s l an d, O r f o r m e r c y. " L i s t e n t o t h i s, O J o b; S t an d s t i l l an d c o n s i d e r t h e w o n d r o u s w o r k s o f G o d.

18 D o y o u k n o w w h e n G o d d i s p at c h e s t h e m, An d c au s e s t h e l i gh t o f H i s c l o u d t o s h i n e? D o y o u k n o w h o w t h e c l o u d s ar e bal an c e d, T h o s e w o n d r o u s w o r k s o f H i m w h o i s p e r f e c t i n k n o w l e d ge? Wh y ar e y o u r gar m e n t s h o t, Wh e n H e qu i e t s t h e e ar t h by t h e s o u t h w i n d? Wi t h H i m, h av e y o u s p r e ad o u t t h e s k i e s, S t r o n g as a c as t m e t al m i r r o r? " T e ac h u s w h at w e s h o u l d s ay t o H i m, F o r w e c an p r e p ar e n o t h i n g be c au s e o f t h e d ar k n e s s. S h o u l d H e be t o l d t h at I w i s h t o s p e ak? I f a m an w e r e t o s p e ak, s u r e l y h e w o u l d be s w al l o w e d u p. Ev e n n o w m e n c an n o t l o o k at t h e l i gh t w h e n i t i s br i gh t i n t h e s k i e s, Wh e n t h e w i n d h as p as s e d an d c l e ar e d t h e m. H e c o m e s f r o m t h e n o r t h as go l d e n s p l e n d o r ; Wi t h G o d i s aw e s o m e m aj e s t y. As f o r t h e Al m i gh t y, w e c an n o t f i n d H i m ; H e i s e x c e l l e n t i n p o w e r, I n j u d gm e n t an d abu n d an t j u s t i c e ; H e d o e s n o t o p p r e s s. T h e r e f o r e m e n f e ar H i m ; H e s h o w s n o p ar t i al i t y t o an y w h o ar e w i s e o f h e ar t. " Elihu now talks about the awesome power of God. God is so great, how could we begin to know Him? No one can begin to understand eternity (v. 26). Nothing can compare with God. His power and presence are awesome and when He speaks we must listen (v. 14).

19 Because of His mighty works we should praise Him. Job is reminded of God s control over nature, which He covered with loving-kindness to demonstrate His love. Elihu concludes his speech with the wonderful truth that faith in God is far more important than Job s desire for an explanation for his suffering (vs ). God s ways should not be challenged because His ways are beyond human understanding. God is never wicked or unjust. Trials can be used by God to remove pride and to protect us from greater difficulties. If God knows what s best for us, then He is to be worshiped, not blamed for our problems. If God is over all of creation, He then is also to be in charge of our lives. He is in control to direct, preserve and maintain His creation. Although Job could not see it, God was directing his life, just like He does ours. As we look at His wonderful creation we can be reminded of His power in every aspect of our lives. May we never forget God s love and concern for us as He watches over His most important creation, mankind. No matter how difficult our trials may be, we can be at peace and rest in the fact that God is in control and He will have His way. As a child of God, we will be blessed, as we trust in Him to bring us through the difficult times. God is never wicked or unjust. He wants His best for us. Job would end up blessed beyond all that he could hope for, but for now, he needed to rest in the loving arms of God. Our unknown future is secure in the hands of our allknowing God who is holy and just. Card of Encouragement Something very important that we can learn from Job s friends is the need to be an encourager. Job s friends did not seem to be very encouraging, did they? They seemed to discourage him and accuse him more than encourage him. The Bible calls us to encourage

20 those we love. In this craft let s take a few moments to encourage someone. You will need scraps of fabric, felt, lace, yarn, etc., construction paper, scissors, glue, glitter, markers or crayons. Think of someone who may be going through a difficult time or maybe just needs a kind word. This could be a family member, friend or school mate. Using a sheet of construction paper, fold it in half to make a card. Write a short note or verse (teacher, you may want to look up two or three encouraging verses to have available for the children) on the inside of the card. Decorate the card. Next, pray for that person that the Lord would encourage them. Finally, mail or give them the card. PRAYER Lead the children in a prayer of commitment to trust the Lord no matter what. Even in trials to wait on Him and know that He has everything under control. If there are any children who have not yet responded to the gospel, give them opportunity to do so.

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