Darby's Bible Synopsis
Elihu spake moreover, and said,
The following commentary covers Chapters 32 through 37.
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 (Job 10:7-8; Job 16:14-17; Job 23:11-13; Job 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 [See Note #1] -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 case2] 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.
Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God's?
For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?
I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.
Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.
If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?
If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?
Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.
By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.
But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;
Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?
There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.
Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.
Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.
But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:
Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.