Job’s 3 friends finally give up on badgering him because he is so insistent on his innocence. But now a fourth guy, Elihu, shows up, and starts all over again. Elihu is angry not just with Job, but with the 3 friends, because they were not able to adequately respond to Job’s arguments.
Elihu starts in with his own brand of heckling, and he is even nastier. He insists that god speaks again and again, but people don’t hear because they aren’t listening (v 14); and that “God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds” (v 19) (because we all know that illness is a punishment for sin).
Elihu continues his diatribe, insisting that “Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin! The Almighty can do no wrong. He repays people according to their deeds. He treats people as they deserve.” (v 10-11) He doesn’t mince words, but accuses Job directly – “Job speaks out of ignorance; his words lack insight. Job, you deserve the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked. For you have added rebellion to your sin; you show no respect, and you speak many angry words against God.” (v 35-37).
Honestly, this guy sounds like every fundie preacher I have ever heard! But the interesting observation here is that Elihu is WRONG! Does it ever occur to some of these evangelists that THEY could be wrong, too?