Verse 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.
After Job had experienced all those horrible things in his life he was surrounded by 3 friends. Chapters 3-31 are a series of interactions between Job and these three friends. The discussions were based on whether Job had sinned or not. While Job held fast to his claim of no sin, his three friends were sure there was some sin he was hiding which had led God to do those things to him. None of these men were privy to the happenings in heaven and so had come to their own conclusions.
When we are going through tough times in life there is nothing like having a friend come to comfort us, but if Job’s three friends were trying to comfort him they were going about it the wrong way. There is no surprise in seeing how Job was feeling pretty discouraged. His life had just collapsed, his wealth and family were taken away in the blink of an eye and if that wasn’t enough he was now dealing with awful sores which needed constant attention to keep cleaned out.
Job’s soul was in turmoil meaning it was the worst time for his friends to skip compassion. Even Mrs. Job is lacking in feeling compassion. Of course she would have been grieving as well but it didn’t stop her from blaming her husband for all the troubles which had come on them. She even told him to curse God. But Job maintained his innocence.
The three friends tried shaming Job and giving him bad advice. Refusing to believe he was innocent as he claimed, they did their best to make him confess his sin. Finally the three men gave up and that is where we find another man sitting with them. This man was younger and had felt he didn’t have a right to speak up while the older men were talking but as they sat back quietly he could stand it no longer.
Elihu may have been younger than the others and that may have been one thing which led to his anger towards them, but he understood things they were missing. He was mad at Job because his claim of righteousness was based on self-righteousness and he was angry at the older friends because they didn’t refute Job but condemned him. This anger was a righteous anger and Elihu couldn’t hold it back.
Making It Personal
How do you want your friends to treat you when you are going through a hard time? Have you experienced compassionate friendship when you needed it? Do you give compassionate friendship?
Making It Personal Kids
How can friends help when you are having a bad day? Have you had a friend help you that way? Do you help your friends that way?
Father, thank You for friends who help us when we are going through hard spots in life. Please give us the wisdom and compassion to be that kind of friend for those who need it. In Jesus’ name, amen.