DON'T jump into CONCLUSIONS
June 4 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 34-36
"Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to commit iniquity. For He repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way." (Job 34:10-11)
Elihu started his long and final discourse with the assertion that the three friends of Job did not have any understanding even though they were many years older than him (Job 32:4). “Great men are not always wise, nor do the aged always understand justice. Therefore I say, 'Listen to me, I also will declare my opinion.'” (Job 32:9-10). However, Elihu also jumped into a conclusion that God repays people according to his work and rewards people on this earth according to their deeds.
Elihu continued his speech with a scathing criticism of Job’s hypocrisy and cynicism. He said he could discern the flavor of Job’s speech and could expose it as a feeble attempt at self-justification (Job 34:1–6; 13:18). In reality, however, Job was no better than the sinner who loves to say that it never pays to serve the Lord (Job 34:7–9). Elihu then concluded on a theological ground that since God was holy and just, the reason for Job’s suffering lies with Job himself (vv. 10–12). God is sovereign over all His creation (vv. 13–15), and so He cannot be coerced or persuaded by earthly rulers to do what is unjust (vv. 16–19). Such beings, powerful as they are, will die, but God lives on, dealing with human beings only as they deserve (v. 20).
The premise of Job’s accusation was that Job was suffering because of his past misdeeds. This was wrong because Job was indeed a righteous man and God wanted to prove to Satan that Job would hold fast to his integrity even though he undergoes suffering in his life. At the end of the story, we see that Job was reinstated back to his original position and he got back double of what he had earlier.
Let us be careful that we never jump into any conclusions as to why someone is suffering in this earth. The wisdom and ways of God are beyond our comprehension. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)