to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice
July 08, 2019 – Monday
Job 36:8-12 NIV
8 But if people are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction, 9 He tells them what they have done—that they have sinned arrogantly. 10 He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil.11 If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. 12 But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge.
The verses above are from Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram (32:2a) speaking directly to Job. His words are more of a long angry rebuke and lecture as he believed Job had justified himself rather than God when he replied to the words of his three other friends (32:2-3). Elihu begins with some preparatory remarks in chapter 32, it is in chapter 33 he really begins giving it to Job.
1 But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say.
2 I am about to open my mouth; my words are on the tip of my tongue.
3 My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know.
Elihu continues his rebuke of Job in chapter 33, but now includes his three friends with his words.
2 Hear my words, you wise men; listen to me, you men of learning.
3 For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food.
4 Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.
However, he ends chapter 35 directly addressing Job and still complaining about his answer to the three friends who spoke earlier
16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words.
Elihu continues without pause through chapters 36 and 37. Then in chapter 38 God speaks directly to Job out of a storm.
2 Who is this that obscures My plans with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
Quite a change from His description of Job to Satan in chapter 1:8
“Have you considered My servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
Satan requested a test of Job and God granted the request. Eventually Job loses everything, all his wealth, his seven sons and three daughters, and even his body is covered with sores. The sad part of all of this is that Job believes he is being punished for some sin and does not understand why for he believes he has not sinned – as least no sin that he has not repented of. So Job is questioning God, why is this happening. God’s answer beginning in chapter 38 is quite illuminating.
Returning to our verses for today let’s consider verse 11: If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. If this verse were taken out of context, it could be used in what is known as prosperity theology, but instead let’s look at the context in the prior three verses: But if people are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction, He tells them what they have done—that they have sinned arrogantly. He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil. Clearly the prosperity spoken of here by Elihu is one of being released from the bondage of sin. That is a prosperity message I can support fully.
By the way Job’s first three friends were rebuked by God, but Elihu was not. Why? Well I have my opinion, but will recommend the answer to the question found at this website. Have a Great Week!
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)