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Job

Chapters 32 to 37

Introduction
Chapters 1 and 2
Chapter 3
Chapters 4 to 31
Chapters 32 to 37
Chapters 38 to 42

Elihu: Job's self-righteousness reproved, God's ways explained and His power insisted upon

But these spiritual affections of Job did not prevent his turning this consciousness of integrity into a robe of self-righteousness which hid God from him, and even hid him from himself. He declares himself to be more righteous than God (chap. 10:7, 8; 16:14 -- 17; 23:11 -- 13; 27:2 -- 6). Elihu reproves him for this, and on the other hand explains the ways of God. He shews that God visits man and chastises him, in order that when subdued and broken down -- if there is one who can shew him the point of moral contact between his soul and God, in which his soul would stand in truth before Him * -- God may act in grace and blessing, and deliver him from the evil that oppresses him. Elihu goes on to shew him that, if God chastises, it is becoming in man to set himself before God to learn wherein he has done wrong: in short, that the ways of God are right, that He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous, but if they are in affliction He shews them their transgressions, and if they return to Him in obedience when He openeth their ear to discipline, He will give them prosperity; but that the hypocrite shall perish. The first case which Elihu brings forward (chap. 33) is God's dealings with men. He awakens their consciences to their state, and puts His bridle on the pride and self-will of man. God chastises and humbles him. The second is specially with the righteous (chap. 36), the case of positive transgression but in one righteous in God's sight, from whom He withdraws not His eyes, in whom He allowed not iniquity; but in the first case he was in the path of destruction. It was this case ** which needed the interpreter to place him in uprightness before God. Finally, he insists upon the incomprehensible power of God Almighty.

* This is a very important point. God can bless in a direct manner with the light of His grace, when the soul is brought into its true place, to what it really is in His sight. Then, whatever its state may be, He can bless it, in respect of that state, with increased light and grace. If I have got far from Him, and careless in walk, when I have the consciousness how far I am, He can fully and directly bless. But the soul must be brought into the recognition of its state, or there would be no real blessing; I should not see God in unison with it. For its sensible state did not answer to its real state in God's sight.

** In this case it may be a first conviction of sin, or the knowledge of self where self has never been really judged, as was Job's case.

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