Job 35: Lessons from Elihu’s Misguided Attacks on Job Regarding the Things That Jesus Offers You When You Suffer

Introduction: Here, Elihu attacked Job for questioning God about his suffering. Elihu’s attacks misrepresented God’s holy character. Through the revelation of the complete Word of God, the Bible reveals the errors in Elihu’s attacks. Jesus offers all believers His: (1) justice, (2) heavenly rewards, (3) wisdom, (4) love, (5) answered prayers, (6) forgiveness, and (7) compassion.

First, Elihu accused Job of claiming to be more righteous than God. Job had simply struggled to understand the reasons for his suffering. Although the reasons for our suffering may sometimes be unknown to us, Jesus will always be just and fair. Second, Elihu also misquoted Job as claiming that there was no point to living a righteous life. Job had instead simply questioned how God would repay him for his faithful service. Without the benefit of God’s Word, Job confused his present suffering with his rewards in heaven. Although you may suffer on Earth, Jesus will reward you in heaven for your faithful service. Third, Elihu boasted that he would share God’s wisdom to Job. God’s true wisdom is in fact revealed through Jesus and His Word. Fourth, Elihu falsely portrayed God as cold and distant and unconcerned by our attempts to be righteous. Jesus in fact loves all people. Before time began, He created every person for good works and to be His light to others in darkness. Fifth, Elihu alleged that Job could not expect God to answer the prayers of a sinner like him. God in fact desires your prayers. When you pray in faith and your prayers are consistent with God’s will, He will answer your prayers. Sixth, Elihu then described God as withholding an even greater punishment that Job allegedly deserved. In fact, Jesus does not want to judge anyone. He offers His mercy and forgiveness to all who believe and repent. Finally, Elihu ended his speech with insults as he had done in his prior speech. Unlike Elihu, Jesus offers you compassion when you suffer.

1. Justice: Jesus is Just and Fair in His Greater Plans For You. Job 35:1-2.

  • Elihu accused Job of claiming to be more righteous than God. As part of his brutal attacks, Elihu falsely quoted Job as saying that his righteousness was greater than God: “1 Then Elihu continued and said, ‘Do you think this is in accordance with justice? Do you say, ‘My righteousness is more than God’s’?” (Job 35:1-2). Job’s theology was wrong in some areas. But he never said this. “Once more it is to be observed that Job had said no such thing. At the worst, he had made statements from which it might be argued that he regarded himself as having a more delicate sense of justice than God (e.g. Job 9:22-24Job 10:3Job 12:6, etc.).” (Pulpit Commentary on Job 35:1).1

  • Elihu accused Job of blasphemy for questioning whether God is just. Elihu had repeatedly misquoted Job for questioning whether God is just: “For he has said, ‘It is of no use to a man when he becomes friends with God.’” (Job 34:9). “For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God.” (Job 34:47). One commentator observes that Elihu condemned Job without understanding him: “In his speech he dealt with several very important issues that arose out of Job’s problem about God’s justice. Elihu began (vv. 1-3) by showing Job how inconsistent he was to claim in one breath God would vindicate him and then in another to complain he got no profit out of not sinning (cf., 34:9). In other words, if God is so unjust, why did Job want to be vindicated by Him? A colloquial way of phrasing the question would be: What is the use of being good if God does not care? Elihu had missed Job’s point, that he wanted to be vindicated because he did believe God is just.” (Frank Gaebelein, Elmer Smick, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1, 2 Kings, 1, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Zondervan Publishing House 1988) p. 1015).

Elihu tormented Job by accusing him of claiming to be more righteous than God2

  • Job had accused God of being unfair in His application of His perfect justice. Job was in part responsible for Elihu’s confusion. Although Job acknowledged that God is just and sovereign, he thought that God’s punishment had been unfairly directed at him by mistake. For example, he asked: “Have I sinned? What have I done to You, watcher of mankind? Why have You made me Your target, so that I am a burden to myself?” (Job 7:20). “Please turn away, let there be no injustice; turn away, my righteousness is still in it.” (Job 6:29; 9:22, 24; 10:3,7; 16:11; 19:6). “As God lives, who has taken away my right, and the Almighty, who has embittered my soul,” (Job 27:2). The psalmist also once made a similar lament: “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence;” (Ps. 73:13). Job believed that he would be vindicated of the charges of sin that he believed that he had been wrongfully accused of: “Behold now, I have prepared my case; I know that I will be vindicated.” (Job 13:18). Both Job and his accusers failed to understand that trials can happen for many reasons unrelated to sin.

  • God is just. When you do not understand the reasons for a trial, God wants you to trust that He is just: “For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.” (Is. 30:18b). “Thus says the LORD, . . . I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD.” (Jer. 9:23-24). Do you trust that God is fair and just to you?

  • In dark times, place your hope in Jesus to cause all things to work together for His good. God’s plans are frequently beyond our limited comprehension: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:9). Yet, even when you lack the ability to understand the reasons for a trial or why God allows evil to happen, God wants you to have faith that He has a greater plan of you: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28). When evil seems to be everywhere, do you still trust that God has a greater plan for you?

2. Heavenly Rewards: Have Faith That Jesus Will Reward You in Heaven. Job 35:3.

  • Elihu accused Job of denying God’s moral order. After falsely quoting Job as saying that he was without sin, Elihu next accused Job of claiming that it was pointless to be good: “For you say, ‘What advantage will it be to You? What benefit will I have, more than if I had sinned?’” (Job 35:3). But this was again a false statement. Job professed frustration that his righteous life had not been rewarded. He wanted to be vindicated in God’s Court. He never claimed that God created a chaotic world that had no moral order.

Elihu accused Job of denying God’s moral order by refusing to accept his punishment3

  • Job had incorrectly called himself a conscripted servant who had not received his wages. At a moment of weakness, Job had complained to God that he had been treated unfairly after a life of service (Job 7:1-2). Job saw himself as a conscripted servant for God. His Master determined the terms of his working conditions. And a laborer was normally rewarded with his or her earned wages after a day of work (Lev. 19:13; Dt. 24:14-15; Jam. 5:4; 1 Tim. 5:18). He was waiting to be paid his wages for his service to God. Yet, through the lens of his suffering, he saw no hope or assurance of a future divine reward, described metaphorically as a servant’s wages. He further lamented his misguided belief that all mankind is destined to a lifetime of misery and suffering (Job 5:7; 14:1).

  • The psalmists and Solomon also complained to God. Job was not the only godly man to complain to God. To let you know that you can cry out to God when you feel pain, the psalms are filled with cries of despair and pain: “Remember what my lifespan is; for what futility You have created all the sons of mankind!” (Ps. 89:47; 39:5). Solomon also expressed bitter complaints (Ecc. 1:14; 2:11; 5:16). Jesus knows your thoughts before you think them. Thus, you don’t need to withhold your cries of pain from Him.

  • Jesus offers eternal salvation as a reward for your faith. Jesus gave His life so that all who have faith in Him might live: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Jo. 10:11). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16). His blood is the symbol and proof of His covenant. “And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’” (Mk. 14:24; Lk. 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; Jer. 31:31). What Jesus offers is also free (Ro. 6:26). His reward only requires your faith that He died on the cross for your sins.

  • Jesus will also reward your faith on Earth and in heaven. In addition to the reward of eternal life, Jesus also promises to bless you in many other ways. He promises to bless you with the Holy Spirit as a down-payment on your salvation (Eph. 1:14; 2 Cor. 1:22). And, in addition to blessings on Earth through the Spirit, He promises five kinds of crowns in heaven. First, those who persevere in the face of trials will receive a crown of life: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (Ja. 1:12; ; Rev. 2:10). Second, those who live a pure life while waiting for His return will receive a crown of righteousness: “in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8). Third, those who exercise self-control will receive an “incorruptible crown” (1 Cor. 9:25-27). Fourth, elders, pastors, teachers, leaders, and shepherds of God’s flock will also receive “a crown of glory” (1 Pet. 5:4). Finally, those who help lead others to Christ will receive a “crown of rejoicing” (1 Thess. 2:19; ). Jesus also promised various conditional blessings in the beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12). He also promised “rewards” for those who store up their treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20). These are among the examples of blessings that are unrelated to your salvation. Other kinds of rewards on Earth include a prolonged life (Dt. 5:32-33). Have you given thanks for your undeserved rewards?

3. Wisdom: Jesus Offers You His Wisdom Through His Word and Prayer. Job 35:4.

  • Elihu claimed to know more than Job and his friends. Elihu had repeated the arguments of Job’s estranged friends. Nevertheless, he believed that he possessed greater wisdom: “I will answer you, and your friends with you.” (Job 35:4). Elihu ended his first speech with a similar boast that he alone would teach Job true wisdom: “If not, listen to me; keep silent, and I will teach you wisdom.” (Job 33:33). Elihu believed the Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were just as much in the dark as Job. Yet, in his pride in condemning Job, he could not see that he was making the same arguments as Job’s wayward friends.

Elihu claimed that he alone would give Job the answers that no one else could4

  • Arrogance does not come from God. Elihu’s arrogance showed that he was not speaking for God: “Do not go on boasting so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed.” (1 Sam. 2:3). “They have closed their unfeeling hearts, with their mouths they speak proudly.” (Ps. 17:10; 31:8; 94:4). If Elihu were speaking for God, he would have spoken with humility and given God the glory for the source of true wisdom.

  • True wisdom and understanding comes from God alone. Elihu was wrong to boast that he alone could teach Job true wisdom. Even Solomon, the wisest man on Earth, proclaimed that even he could not find true wisdom through his own efforts: “I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, ‘I will be wise,’ but wisdom was far from me. What has been is remote and very mysterious. Who can discover it?” (Ecc. 7:23-24). Solomon instead revealed that true wisdom comes from God alone: “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Prov. 2:6). “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in secret You will make wisdom known to me.” (Ps. 51:6). Solomon defined the fear of the Lord as the beginning of knowledge and God’s wisdom (Prov. 1:7; 2:5; Ps. 111:10). He defined fearing the Lord as hating evil (Prov. 8:13). God wants you to seek His wisdom through prayer, the Word and hating evil.

  • With faith, God’s wisdom is revealed through Jesus. Paul stated that God’s wisdom was beyond his ability to find it on his own: “Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?” (Ro. 11:33-34). But Paul revealed that God’s hidden wisdom is made known to us through faith in Jesus Christ: “that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and that they would attain to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:2-3). “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, . . . so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 3:8,10). If you lack wisdom, are you turning to Jesus in faith to find it?

4. Love: Jesus Loves You, and He Wants You to Be Holy and His Light. Job 35:5-8.

  • Elihu alleged that Job had nothing to offer a transcendent God. Elihu argued that their transcendent God was unaffected by either Job’s sins or his attempts at righteousness: “Look at the heavens and see; and look at the clouds—they are higher than you. If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against Him? And if your wrongdoings are many, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give to Him, or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness is for a man like yourself, and your righteousness is for a son of man.” (Job 35:5-8). As one commentator observes, Elihu’s argument was self-defeating: “The idea was that God was so far beyond man that there was nothing man could do to God’s benefit. Elihu felt that Job had lost his fear and godly appreciation of God. Elihu had, in one sense, trapped himself in his own argument. If God is so beyond man, then what use is it for Job to repent at all? . . . God is indeed God; but Elihu missed how close God comes to man.” (David Guzik on Job 35).5

  • Jesus offers His light when you are in darkness. When God revealed Himself to Abraham, He told Abraham to look up and count the stars of light in the sky (Gen. 15:5). In contrast, Elihu told Job to look up and see the clouds if he wanted to understand God: “Look at the heavens and see; and look at the clouds . . .” (Job 35:5). Zophar made a similar claim (Job 11:8). Eliphaz also made a similar argument (Job 22:12). It is true that God’s thoughts are higher than ours (Is. 55:9). But this does not mean that God’s will for us is obscured like the clouds. Instead, like the stars, Jesus is the guiding light for mankind: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (Jo. 1:4). “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”’ (Jo. 8:12; 9:5). “I have come as Light into the world, so that no one who believes in Me will remain in darkness.” (Jo. 12:46). Jesus’ light is visible to guide you when your read His Word and pray over it: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105).

  • God cares about you and desires your righteous conduct. Elihu alleged that Job’s righteousness was useless to God: “If you are righteous, what do you give to Him, or what does He receive from your hand?.” (Job 35:7). Eliphaz had also alleged that Job’s claims of righteousness were useless to a distant God in heaven: “‘Can a strong man be of use to God, or a wise one be useful to himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous, or gain if you make your ways blameless?’” (Job 22:2-3). Jesus cares about your conduct because His light now shines through believers who walk with Him: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;” (Matt. 5:14). “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” (Prov. 4:18). Does your conduct accurately reflect Jesus’ light?

  • Out of love, Jesus died on the cross so that everyone might find eternal life. Out of love, God planned before time began to send Jesus to die on the cross to allow all who believe to have eternal life: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,’” (Jo. 11:25-26; 14:19). As a further sign of God’s love, the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer to guide them and help you to be holy for Jesus (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19).

  • Out of love, Jesus advocates for believers daily. Contrary to Elihu’s false charges, God also is not cold and disinterested. He even boasted twice to Satan about Job’s blameless conduct (Job 1:8; 2:3). Today, Jesus is your counselor (Is. 9:6) and your only mediator to God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). He also advocates for you in the same heavenly court: “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” (1 Jo. 2:1b). “Christ Jesus . . . also intercedes for us.” (Ro. 8:34). “Therefore He is also able to save forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25). “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 Jo. 5:14). Jesus is also looking to answer your prayers when you call out to Him: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8). Are you crying out to Jesus so that He may advocate for your needs?

  • God desires your holiness for His good works. God would later point out that there is nothing that we have that He needs because everything belongs to Him: “Who has been first to give to Me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the entire heaven is Mine.” (Job 41:11; Rom. 11:35). But this doesn’t mean that your labor is unimportant for God. Before time began, God prepared each person for good works: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). God wants to use you as His hands and feet. In contrast, Satan wants to make you compromised by sin so that you never live up to your higher calling. Are you allowing God to use your talents to serve Him?

5. Answered Prayers: With Faith, Jesus Can Also Answer Your Prayers. Job 35:9-14.

  • Elihu alleged that God would not answer Job because he loved evil. Elihu argued that Job’s professed desire for God to answer him was insincere because Job embraced evil: “Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out; they cry for help because of the arm of the mighty. 10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, 11 who teaches us more than the animals of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?’ 12 There they cry out, but He does not answer because of the pride of evil people. 13 God certainly will not listen to an empty cry, nor will the Almighty regard it. 14 How much less when you say you do not look at Him, the case is before Him, and you must wait for Him!” (Job 35:9-14). Job had repeatedly lamented that he had cried out with no answer from God: “Behold, I go forward but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He acts on the left, I cannot see Him; He turns to the right, but I cannot see Him.” (Job 23:8-9). “Oh that I had one to hear me! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me! And the indictment which my adversary has written,” (Job 31:35). He also lamented that he would not know if God were next to him during his trials: “If He were to pass by me, I would not see Him; were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him.” (Job 9:11). One commentator observes: “What Elihu did here was rephrase three of Job’s complaints that the friends would deem arrogant, grounds for God’s refusal to respond. (1) In 9:11 Job said, ‘I cannot see Him.’ (2) In several places Job claimed his legal right (10:2; 13:6, 18; 23:4; 27:2; 31:35). (3) In several places Job spoke of his hope in God (6:8; 13:15; 14:14).” (Robert Alden, The New American Commentary, Vol. 11, Job (B&H Publishing Group 1993) p. 346).

  • God has given mankind wisdom greater than the animals, but few correctly use it. Elihu correctly noted that God: “teaches us more than the animals of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky.” (Job 35:11). Yet, Isaiah and Jeremiah both lamented that even the animals seem to better know their true master than most people (Is. 1:3; Jer. 8:7). One commentator likewise observes: “Elihu’s reason is right in the majority of cases. The great cause of a Christian’s distress, the reason of the depths of sorrow into which many believers are plunged, is simply this — that while they are looking about, on the right hand and on the left, to see how they may escape their troubles, they forget to look to the hills whence all real help cometh; they do not say, ‘Where is God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night?’” (Charles Spurgeon on Job 35).6

  • Sin can “hinder” your prayers to God. Elihu warned that God “does not answer because of the pride of evil people.” (Job 35:12). In the Old Testament, God warned that as a consequence of the separation caused by sin, He would not hear the prayers of sinners: “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.” (Is. 1:15). “And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness.” (Is. 59:2-3(b)). “We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but He does listen to anyone who worships Him and does His will.” (Jo. 9:31; Prov. 15:29; 8:9; Ps. 66:18; 18:41). In the New Testament, He warns that sin can “hinder” a believer’s prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). Thus, Elihu in part spoke truthfully about the consequences of sin. But, even when people sin, God still cares about His people. For example, even when the Jews in Egyptian captivity were compromised by their own sins, God still heard and responded to their cries of oppression (Ex. 2:23). And He will continue to hear the cries of the oppressed (E.g., Ex. 22:23; Dt. 24:15). Elihu’s words of condemnation also did not apply to Job. God would in fact soon appear to answer Job.

  • The effective fervent prayer of the righteous can accomplish great things. Although Job lacked the benefit of God’s Word, God later made clear that those who pray in faith and confess their sins can accomplish great things through Him: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (Ja. 5:16). In a similar way, God heard Elijah’s prayers to both stop and later restart the rain in Israel (Ja. 5:17-18). God also heard Hezekiah’s prayers when he prayed for His intervention (2 Kgs. 19:20). God also wants you to pray fervently to Him to intervene when you need deliverance. “Let my cry come before You, LORD; give me understanding according to Your word.” (Ps. 119:169). “In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” (Ps. 18:6). When you are going through a trial, are you crying out to God for guidance?

6. Forgiveness: Jesus Offers His Mercy and Forgiveness to All Who Believe. Job 35:15.

  • Elihu alleged that God had been merciful in sparring Job. Elihu believed that God had sparred Job from judgment for his blasphemous words: “15 And now, because He has not avenged His anger, nor has He acknowledged wrongdoing well,” (Job 35:15). Elihu apparently believed that Job deserved far worse of a punishment for his allegedly blasphemous words. “Elihu added a fourth and fifth excerpt from Job’s speeches to complete this list of reasons why God did not and will not respond to Job. In 9:24 and 21:17 Job had charged God with turning a blind eye to justice. In 12:6 and 21:17 he complained that God overlooked all manner of wickedness.’” (Alden, p. 346). Elihu claimed that Job needed to be patient and see God’s hand of judgment (Job 35:14) But Elihu was not speaking for God. God would soon restore Job without condemning him.

  • Jesus does not want any to suffer judgment. While Elihu portrayed God as close to inflicting and even greater wrath on Job, Jesus in fact does not want any to be judged: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9). “Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.” (Is. 30:18). Jesus further promises to forgive your sins if you confess them: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). He not only forgives sins, He will remember the sins no more: “I, I alone, am the one who wipes out your wrongdoings for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Is. 43:25). When you sin, confess your sins before Jesus to be forgiven.

  • Forgive others the way Jesus has forgiven you. Jesus also warns that you must forgive others to be able to receive God the Father’s forgiveness: “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matt. 6:14-15); Mk. 11:26). Thus, if you are looking for God’s forgiveness, forgive others.

7. Compassion: When You Suffer, Jesus Offers You His Compassion. Job 35:16.

  • Elihu insulted Job for his attempts to defend himself. Elihu concluded his speech by insulting Job: “16 so Job opens his mouth with empty words; He multiplies words without knowledge.” (Job 35:16). Elihu also ended his prior speech with a similar insult: “‘Job speaks without knowledge, and his words are without wisdom.’” (Job 34:35). Elihu’s repeated acts of cruelty again showed that he did not speak for God.

  • Elihu had become no better than Job’s friends in accusing Job of offering empty words. Elihu claimed that Job had made an “empty cry” for help to God (Job 35:13). Here, he accused Job of speaking “with empty words” and “without knowledge.” (Job 35:16). Bildad had called Job’s statements meaningless words (Job 8:2, 18:2). Zophar had also attacked Job for his alleged boasts (Job 11:3). Eliphaz also dismissed Job’s many words of despair as being no better than the worthless wind (Job 15:2-3). Thus, Elihu had become just as cruel as Job’s three estranged friends.

  • Jesus will also show you compassion when you suffer. Jesus had compassion for the masses (Matt. 9:36). He also longs to show you His compassion: “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.” (Is. 30:18a). “And He said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion to whom I will show compassion.”’ (Ex. 33:19). When you feel alone or defeated, are you turning to Jesus to find compassion?

  • Jesus’ compassion includes His promise of restoration. Jesus’s compassion also includes the promise of restoration (Jer. 42:12). Jesus later showed His compassion by restoring Job. Restoration may not come on Earth. But it will come in heaven. Are you offering others who are hurting or suffering the hope of Jesus’ compassion and restoration?