Reading: Job 32-36
“Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him? Who has prescribed for him his way, or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?” (Job 36:22-23)
In Elihu’s speeches in this discourse, he introduced a different dimension in understanding suffering. He somehow communicated this big idea that God has things to teach his people which they can only learn through pain. Elihu also described God in terms suggesting that he may have had a more realistic and fuller concept of God than Job’s three friends did. The former presented God as a wise teacher, while the latter emphasized God’s character of being a judge. Both parties have presented their cases well, but for today, let us dwell a bit more on what Elihu had to share.
Jeff Manion, lead pastor of a thriving church in the United States, described God’s discipline as “inflicting pain for redemptive purposes”. Now, think with me for a moment, and let’s do an honest introspection: What is the most recent event that God has used to discipline me? What did God change in me through that process?
Elihu may have had an incomplete understanding of what Job was experiencing, and he most probably had a limited view of what God was doing in Job’s life. However, it is good and wise to consider our momentary sufferings as one of God’s instruments for us to grow towards spiritual maturity.
Proverbs 3:11-12 says, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” Let us not lose heart in the face of problems, but be of good courage as we give way for God to accomplish his redemptive and transformative purposes in us, for us, and through us!