The Lord allowed Satan to tempt Job as we read in Job 1:12, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”  To get a proper understanding of this event, I encourage you to read Job 1:1-12.  In a single day, Job lost all his livestock, his sheep, his servants, his camels, and his ten children. (Verses 13-19).  We read of Job’s immediate response in verses 21-22, “And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

In Job 2:11-13 we are introduced to Job’s three friends who came to comfort him after his great losses.  That reads, “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.”  These three friends with all their fine speeches could not find a legitimate answer for Job’s sufferings, and yet they condemned him.  (Read chapters 4 and 5.)

We are introduced to Elihu in chapter 32 where we learn that he was the son of Barachel the Buzite (Verse 2).  We then read in verses 2-3, “Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.”  Elihu became angry because Job “justified himself rather than God.” (Verse 2).  He was angry with Job’s three friends because they could not determine why Job suffered as he did, yet they criticized him as being righteous in his own eyes. (Verse 3).

Elihu had resisted speaking to Job because he was younger than these men as we read in verse 4, “Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.”  He waited until they had ceased talking before he spoke.  Although young, his wisdom and maturity manifested itself in the words of Elihu in verses 6-14.  He appropriately stated in verse 9, “Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.”  We do not have the time nor space to go into all the words of Elihu to Job.  Chapters 32 through 37 contain the words of this young man who speaks boldly to the elder Job.  We read some of his wise words setting the stage for Job in Job 33:1-4, “Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words. Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth. My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.”  Elihu understood that he was chosen of God to minister to Job’s needs so that he might see that he needed to humble himself before the Lord. 

Elihu’s council is different from Job’s three friends.  Elihu also desires to justify Job of all charges as we read in Job 33:32, “If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.”  He accuses Job of finding fault with God (Job 33:9-11), and of speaking without knowledge (Job 34:35). 

Although some seem to think of Elihu on the same scale as Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, yet surely Elihu was the mouthpiece of the Lord to help Job realize his true position so that he might repent and honor the Lord.

I want to end by reading Job’s words in Job 42:1-6, “Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”  After Job’s repentance, we read in verse 10, “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  (CC)  (560.4)