It all looks so simple but without Christ our view of the world is foolishness. It doesn’t work.

Grab your notes for this episode by completing the form
and we will send you the link to all our notes.

Follow the podcast

* indicates required


Dan: (00:00)
Well, hi everyone. And welcome to another episode of training for life redeemed. Once again, I am joined by my father, David Jackson. My name is Dan today We are looking at Job again. We are continuing through the book, we are up to the section where Elihu comes in and Dad you’ve labelled this, the comic relief because you think Elihu is a bit funny. and we have a few studies that go along with this. So if anyone wants to come and grab the studies to go with this episode, head over to Dad, where did a Elihu come from? Because he hasn’t been mentioned yet. Like that there’s the other three they’ve been talking the whole time, but now Elihu suddenly is talking. Didn’t even know he was there. And what does he contribute to the actual question or to the debate?

David: (00:52)
Yeah, I think, I think Elihu would be one of my favourite characters in the Bible, probably because he reminds me of me. I imagine Elihu as 17, 18 years old, probably a red head and just everything that you imagine of a teenage, you know, a young teenage man, who’s all fired up and passionate about life he’s all passion and no knowledge. , you know, he’s got the fire in his bones, he can see how everybody else has got life wrong, particularly his elders and those who are in charge. They’ve all let him down. They’re all boofheads and he’s got it right. And he’s gonna fix the world. And I think when you get to that age, you, you can see everything that’s wrong and you’re seeing it for the first time.

David: (01:49)
And so you have this, this thing, you know, I’m the first person to discover it because it’s the first time I’ve seen it. And all the older people are standing around going. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. We remember when , but for Job, this is a great indignity. He is a man in his seventies. His three friends are, you know, senior men of similar rank in society. And here he is being abused by some 17 year old kid who thinks he knows everything and, and he’s popped out of the crowd. So that the first clue is this whole debate. You’ve gotta envisage happening where the whole village or the whole town has come out to watch. And so when you watch these debates, people go from a, you (singular), talking to one another and occasionally they switch to you (plural). And they talk to this big audience. So this is, this is, there’s a, there’s a big audience here and out of the audience pops this, year 11, bloke or year 12, what we call, the demonstrating outraged student culture and up he pops. And he’s about to put the world, right? But he does it in a way that has the audience holding their ribs, laughing. So I’ll give you a couple of my favourites. Every one of the old men have called the other one, a wind bag.

David: (03:22)
You’re just, you’re full of hot air. You’re a wind bag. shut up, so that’s, that’s a term of abuse to each other. The 17 year old gets up and he says, I’ll read this: I am full of words. The wind inside me is building up pressure on me. My belly is like unopened wine, like a new wine skin about the split open I’ll speak. And that’ll give me some relief.” You talk about a wind bag, everything up the last line, you’re wondering what direction the wind is gonna come out of his body. it just, it takes your breath away. Just thinking about how stupid you would be to stand up and say that about yourself, but it, it gets worse. The next step is using the same word for wind. “The spirit, the wind, of God makes me do the, this, the inspiration of the Almighty enlivens me.”

David: (04:28)
So the gas in his gut is, you know, inspiration from the Holy Spirit. And then he, and what does that bring in? He looks straight at Job. “You (singular) you are not righteous.” So that solves all the problems and these old coots couldn’t get that message across. I’m here. Nobody’s listened to my wisdom before. I’m here to tell you it’s simple. It’s one line. You’re wrong. and he lets fly. And he speaks to Job in the rudest manner. If you have nothing, listen to me, be silent, I’ll teach you wisdom.” You could just imagine (you you’ve been a high school teacher) , the, the year 11 bloke gets up in the middle of class says, “ah, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll show you!” And cuts loose, and Job has to endure it, and that’s humiliating and degrading in front of the whole audience.

David: (05:25)
But at the same time, Elihu’s an embarrassment to himself. It doesn’t help that he spends two chapters talking about himself and not actually addressing the argument. It’s the longest speech in job. Talk about a windbag, but he spent the first third of it telling you why you should listen to him. Cause he’s so brilliant. So you get this beautiful line and the narrator says, “and Elihu went on” (Job 36) and he says, “I bring my knowledge from afar. One. Perfect In knowledge is with you.” You know, one of the great accusations against me when I was 17 and I was an idiot, was that my father would turn around and tell me I was a know-all only this kid is standing up going, “I know everything”

Dan: (06:19)
He doesn’t seem to say much wrong, except for the fact that he accuses Job of being not righteous, which he has been declared by God , multiple times already to be righteous. he does seem passionate for sure, full of passion to defend God in some way. Mm-hmm so where does he go wrong, does he represent any kind of challenge to us today? is he just, a 17 year old teenager who you should ignore

David: (06:47)
interestingly enough, when Yahweh speaks, he does ignore Elihu.

Dan: (06:57)
Isn’t meant to be our next episode. Yeah.

David: (06:59)
Yeah. But, but the longest speech in the whole thing and we just go, oh no, Where did Elihu go wrong? One of the great challenges of his speech is that nearly everything he says is good theology. It’s true. the only thing he got wrong is that he doesn’t think Job is righteous. He says lots of good things about God, lots of good things about justice. And at the end of his speech, he describes what God would look like if he were to appear. So Job’s been saying, I want to talk to God, I want to talk to God and Elihu says, do you know what it would look like if God turned up? Now there’d be this big storm cloud coming out of the north. There’d be this glow. the radiance of the Lord would be overwhelming, but then he does this, “The almighty, we don’t find him.”

David: (08:00)
So God is so out there and up there and beyond creation that we can’t find him. Now, if, if I was putting this on as a stage play, we were presenting it in a theatre. The, this is the big punch line to the whole comic relief, a Elihu is standing there addressing Job. Job was looking at Elihu and behind a Elihu coming from the north is the visible presence of God. The storm cloud has actually arrived. And we get to the end of this chapter, that this six chapter speech, “we cannot find Yahweh or El Shaddai?” And the next voice you hear is God and Elihu disappears . And so there’s lots of good theology and lots of truth in this young man, but he just doesn’t know how to apply it with Christ as the centre. He’s got the law, but he hasn’t got the gospel. And in doing that, the whole thing falls apart. And so that brings us back to this idea. Job has discovered his Redeemer kinsman, Elihu hasn’t. And Elihu is reading God without Christ; God without gospel. And that’s a terrifying place to be.

Dan: (09:26)
Well, now that does bring us to the end of episode of 54. We’re talking about Elihu and his big, massive wind bag worth of a speech. if you would like to come and grab the study notes that go along with its episode, you can head over to If you enjoy the episode, we would love for you to leave us a review on whichever podcasting platform you’re on. And of course, make sure you subscribe, come back next week when God does show up. And he tells us what has been going on. Well, kind of, he doesn’t really, but we know what’s going on for the book, but he’s gonna give us the conclusion of the book as we listen to what God has to say at the end of, of Job’s life at the end of Job. So come back and join us for that. And we’ll see you then.