31 6let God weigh me in honest scales
and he will know that I am blameless-
If only he could get a hearing from this persecuting Deity he would convince God of the error of His ways!
Job 32 – 37
In chapters 32 through 37 Job silently suffers the relentless diatribe of the younger man, Elihu. This would have been a terrible insult in a culture that revered elders. Whereas he had energetically debated his other three contemporary friends into submission, Elihu holds the field unopposed. One has the sense that by the time Elihu speaks up Job is a spent force, nothing more than the husk of what once was a warm, proud man.
But, without missing a beat, just as Elihu completes his six-chapter harangue, the LORD Himself arrives on the scene. Has there ever been a man in worse shape to confront the LORD of the universe? Suffering has destroyed every resource that Job could have possibly drawn upon to meet this challenge – his dignity, self-respect, family, friends, success, standing, rightness with God Himself – he was ground down to absolute zero.
So, is now the time for a loving God to begin the process of restoring Job’s soul? No, it is not. It’s not because absolute zero is simply the absence of everything. What’s required is the presence of an acknowledged, excruciating negative – the recognized need for God the Savior to fill the infinite negative void of our soul. And so, God speaks to Job in love, although we in our sentimentalized culture are often incapable of recognizing it as such any longer.