The gift of suffering
The topic of suffering is the most perplexing subject for any person to consider. Human beings crave for meaning and understanding. It is maddening to endure trial and not discern some purpose and relevancy especially for the people of faith. If God exists, and if He is sovereign and in control of all things, then someone please tell me what is the meaning of my pain. Please interpret my agony, my sleepless nights and my dejected state.
Elihu steps up to the plate to address such complex questions (Job 32-37). When reading the book of Job, the first two chapters are read with keen interest as a heavenly window is revealed to an earthly event. The middle portions of the book are endured (3-37) as we listen to argument and defense of how to interpret this world’s suffering. God finally speaks (38-41) and then Job is restored (42). Yet, a closer look shows us that in chapters 3-31 Job defending himself against his three friends. When he succeed in silencing their accusations, Elihu steps in and brings new insight (32-37). Six chapters are dedicated to this man’s speech. He is the only person in the book not rebuked by God. God does not speak until Elihu finishes. And when Elihu’s is done talking, Job repents (42:6). Something happened when Elihu spoke. Things shifted both on earth and in heaven. What did he say that changed everything?
As we continue in our Jesus 365 series, I want us to discern what insight Elihu brings to our suffering.