The Wrath of Elihu

The Wrath of Elihu

Scripture: Isaiah 55:9, Job 13:28, Job 28:28
Date: 12/03/2016  Lesson: 10
"We don't live by faith when everything is fully and rationally explained. We live by faith when, like Job, we trust and obey God even when we cannot make sense of what is happening around us."

Heroes of Faith by Doug Batchelor

Heroes of Faith by Doug Batchelor
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Good morning, friends, welcome again to Sabbath school study hour. A very warm welcome to those joining us, once again, across the country and around the world - part of our extended Sabbath school class. Also a warm welcome to the members and those who are visiting here at the Granite Bay church - glad you came to study our lesson together with us. Now, we've been studying through the book of job. Today we find ourselves on lesson #10 entitled the wrath of elihu.

So an interesting study that we'll be looking at today. If you don't have a copy of today's lesson, you can download lesson #10 at the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org - studying lesson #10 - you can download that and you can study along with us. We do have a free offer that we'd like to make available to those who are watching in North America. It is a book entitled a deep but dazzling darkness and this is the free offer for today. If you'd like to receive it, give us a call on our toll-free resource phone number.

It's 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #820. Now, before we get to our study, as usual, we like to begin by lifting our voices in praise. I'd like to invite our song leaders to come and they will lead us in our hymn for this morning. (Soft piano music) as usual, we love to sing together with those across the country and around the world. We welcome you to pull out your hymnals and sing with us 'tis almost time for the Lord to come - hymn #212 - we're going to sing the first, the last - second and the last verses.

And I am so grateful that we can sing this with gusto this morning. He is almost here and I pray that each one of you have him living in your heart and you are ready for his coming. He wants us to be ready all the time, correct? Not just always getting ready, he wants us to be ready. So we're going to sing about that. You can put your hymnals away because we have a special feature for you this morning.

We have special guests that are joining us from pine hills adventist academy. It's just up the road from Granite Bay about 20 miles in auburn, California. They are the choir that are singing for us today, amazing grace, and they are being directed by jill genobaga. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; 'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. And when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease, I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace. Amen. Amen. Beautiful.

Thank you, pine hills academy choir. We very much appreciate that. Before we get to our study this morning, as always, let's bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, what a privilege to be able to gather together on this your Sabbath and open up Your Word and study together. And, as we look at our continued study in the book of job, we pray, Lord that the Holy Spirit would come and guide our hearts, our minds as we understand a little more of the Great Controversy taking place behind the scenes but, ultimately, how you'll be victorious and how you comfort and strengthen those who put their trust in you.

Thank you, Lord, for your promise to be with us. In Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug. Good to see each of you. We are continuing our study in the book of job and today, you know, I spent more time studying the book of job this year than any other time in my life.

Praise the Lord! And I've learned a lot of things. It's really - it's been a blessing. But we're on lesson #10 in our study today, which is titled the wrath of elihu. And we'll explain what that title is dealing with, but we have a memory verse - the memory verse is actually from the book of Isaiah - Isaiah 55, verse 9 and if you'll say that with me, here it's in the new king James version - Isaiah 55:9 - are you ready? "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." And that's a theme that repeats itself a little later in our lesson. Now, as we're continuing on through the book of job - I think you probably knew when we started on this - the book of job's got 42 chapters - that we weren't going to be able to cover, in detail, every chapter - every verse in the book of job, so the author of the lesson is kind of doing a fly-over a little bit of several chapters of the dialogue that goes back - we've noticed that job finally opens his mouth after seven days of everyone sitting in silence, watching him suffer and he, sort of, curses the day of his birth.

And then, one of his friends responds. Job - now how many friends does it start out with that are around job? Three. Three friends - job and his three friends. And then job responds and then another friend responds and job responds to them and then another friend responds and then job responds and then, you know, finally when you get to chapters to 31, it's all job responding to his friends basically saying, 'well, let's face it, job, this would never happen to you unless you had done something wrong and, you know, there's some secret sin in your life and, you know, 'fess up, what is it?' And he's saying, 'no,' - you know - 'I'm more righteous than you guys. It's not because of anything I've done.

' And they go back and forth and they say, 'come on, now, bad things happen to bad people. God blesses the good and curses the bad.' And he said, 'no, not always.' And they're both really right and they kind of are exploring the great themes in the Great Controversy in this passage. And so, here - and this is under the section called miserable comforters. That's quite a - actually, the phrase, it comes from the book of job. You ever heard people say really odd things at funerals? And - or they go to make a hospital visit and they're supposed to be there to comfort and, you know, they're saying things like, 'well, you know, if you just change your diet, you wouldn't be here.

' Which may be true, but it's not very comforting. Or, you know, I've seen people at funerals and they just - they say some very, very rough things - miserable comforters at times like that. You know, unfortunately, pastors go to above the average number of funerals and so, you see and hear some interesting things. And, you know, at funerals, I'll tell you what really scares me is, you know, usually there is - someone'll have a poem, there's a song, there'll be the eulogy, there's a sermonette, and then the family says, 'we'd like to then open the microphones and let people - let people, you know, get up - just share their memories about the person. Boy, I tell you, that can really get out of hand.

Sometimes it's beautiful. Sometimes it's inspiring. I've been to some funerals before where I could have stayed for hours and heard about this person - just inspiring. And then, all of a sudden someone will get up and no one knows what they're doing at the funeral - they've never seen them before - and they start to say, 'oh yeah, bill and i, we used to have the most wonderful drinking parties and we'd go out and we'd drink' - and everyone's looking around. You've got to be careful about that open microphone.

And so, you hear some strange things at funerals and weddings. And I've heard some people comment as I'm standing there at the casket, you know, and the families file by and you hear people say things to the family and you think, 'oh, that's got to hurt.' And job had friends that are there watching him suffer and he hasn't done - you and I know, behind the scenes, the devil's attacking him. He hasn't done anything wrong and his friends are just accusing him of terrible things. So under this section miserable comforters, it sort of covers the - a number of verses that you find, oh all the way from job 13 up until the end of job's speech. Now one thing I want you to notice about the book of job - job is a majestic book because, do you realize every other Bible writer - name a Bible writer.

Luke, Paul, David, Moses - any of them - every Bible writer could read job first. So job influenced every other Bible writer because the book was there. And you'll find quite a few Bible writers referencing job. I'll get to say a little more about that, but let's just look at a few things. For instance, you look in job 13:28 - we're going to do just some hot spots here from the book of job.

"Man decays like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten." Here it's talking about - or 'like a grass that springs up in the morning and then the sun scorches it and all our days are like a shadow' and you find that principle repeated several times through the book of job. You can look - and you find a lot of major doctrines are first in job. If evangelists could not use the book of job, we'd be handicapped because a lot of the proof texts for various doctrines are first found in the book of job. Look, for instance, in job chapter 14. You can go there with me - job 14, verses 10 through 12 - this is one that kind of deals with the state of the dead: "but man dies and is laid away; indeed he breathes his last and where is he? As water disappears from the sea and a river becomes parched and dries up, so man lies down and does not rise.

" - And, by the way, when they said, 'water disappears from the sea' you might think, 'ah that doesn't happen very often.' They're not talking about like the mediterranean or the atlantic or the arabian sea, job lived in the area where they had great salt flats and there would be a sea of water. If you live in Nevada you know they've got like massacre lake and these different places - a sea that appears when there's a lot of rain, and then it dries up. And "the water disappears from the sea and a river becomes parched and dries up, so man lies down and does not rise till the heavens are no more," when is that? When Jesus comes and the heavens depart as a scroll. "They will not awake nor be roused from their sleep." What is the state of man in death? He's asleep until the heavens are no more, till the second coming and he rises. You can look, also, in job 13, verse 15 - we've got that famous verse: "though" - and it's been quoted several times, "though he slay me, yet will I trust him.

" Talking about that righteousness by faith principle. You can look in job 19 - go there real quick - verse 25 - now someone here is going to read - I've got some verses lined up - hafdis, you'll be reading, is it 28:28? Alright just a moment we'll have you - job 19:25, "for I know that my redeemer lives, and he shall stand at last on the earth;" - so he says, 'my redeemer will stand on the earth.' It talks about at the end of the 1,000 years the new Jerusalem comes down and the Messiah's feet touch the mount of olives, not to mention the first coming of Jesus when he lived on the earth. "He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh" - obviously, if his flesh is destroyed, it must be his flesh made new - the new body - "I shall see God." - It says we will see him face to face "whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" So there's several biblical truths that are all packed into that one verse that you find later repeated by other Bible writers. Go ahead, please, read for us job 28:28.

"And to man he said, 'behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.'" Now I can't count how many times you'll find that in the Bible - in the new and the old testament. Here's a few examples for that: king David read the book of job and David wrote, in psalm 111:10, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." That sound familiar? "A good understanding have all those who do his commandments." Then you have Solomon - Solomon had the benefit of not only reading the book of job, he could read the writings of his father David. And Solomon wrote: "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" - and I could quote you, probably five other verses from the Bible where they quote that statement from the book of job. Now, the lesson is really about - it's called the wrath of elihu and I almost think the lesson could be a misnomer because the word translated 'wrath' there, could also be translated 'the excitement; the agitation' and it's not as though elihu is angry and he's going to start lashing out and hitting people, it's talking about his indignation - his frustration. He's excited to answer.

You ever listen to a dialogue and you're waiting for your turn to respond and you get more and more excited and even upset at things that are being said that may not be true? And so, this is what's happening. Elihu has sat there and he's something of a mystery. Well, tell you what, let's read it. Go to job 32 - we're going to read verses to 4. "So these three men ceased answering job," - matter of fact, verses 26 through 31 is one long response of job; and when you get to the end of chapter 31, it makes an interesting statement in verse 40 - if you look at job 31:40 it says, "the words of job are ended.

" There's no more dialogue. Now how many book - how many chapters in the book of job? 42. 42. And when you get to the end of chapter 31, job's done talking. So there's a whole lot more left in these other ten chapters, but job is done with his dialogue of defense, I should say.

It says, "the words of job are ended." So when they've all grown silent - job's talked, his friends have talked, they've taken turns, they've gone around, they've covered these issues of why do the good prosper and why do the - why do the bad prosper and why do the good suffer? And job, after his final several-chapter eloquent profound defense, they all sit there and stare at each other. Now, evidently, there was someone else sitting there. In fact, it could be that others from the town had gathered and there's an audience listening as these elders speak. Now, in America, we have a very different culture when it comes to conversation. In many parts of the world where I've been, I've observed - you know, they brought me in to meet with the elders of the church or people in the community.

I've gone to meet presidents and vice presidents of countries and I actually was in africa once, visiting the vice president of cameroon and the secretary said, knowing we're Americans they said, 'now, in africa, when you come in and you meet the vice president, you'll sit down when he sits down. Then he will speak. You don't speak until he is done speaking.' And that, really, is a rule in many cultures of the world - is that the people who have the prominent position, or the people who have the position of authority or age, you let them speak and all the others you keep silent. Don't speak. Any of you remember the old adage 'children are to be seen and not heard? Anyone remember hearing that? And when, you know, the elders were sitting around in the room talking, kids were not allowed to interrupt and pipe in.

They'd say, 'shhh, that's rude. The elders are speaking. You listen. You might learn something. Don't talk.

How much do you know? You're eight years old.' And, you know, and so that was the attitude in the east. How many of you have been to countries you know what I'm talking about? It was very much that way, that you sat and you let the elders speak. Now these are great men of the east. Job is the greatest man of the east, and his three friends, they are great men - leaders of other tribes, and they're having this great debate and they're talking about these profound themes and there may have been other people from the town sitting around listening. Another younger man, but also an elder, but he's sitting and he's listening - his name is elihu - he's never mentioned until now, and he's not mentioned later, so when you talk about job and his three friends, there was this other character.

And you read in chapter 32, verse 1, "so these three men ceased answering job, because he was righteous in his own eyes." Now, was job wrong to be righteous in his own eyes? Or did God later say - it's interesting, God says to job, 'do you really think you're righteous?' And job is sort of rebuked by the Lord, but then later, God tells his friends, 'job spoke what was right and you did not.' So job is a type of Christ and he was righteous. He was a Godly man. How's the book begin? He loved good and hated evil. There was no man like him - a perfect and upright man. So, you know, that's the testimony of the book.

But, you know, we always struggle with the idea of someone who's righteous that knows it. Have you ever wondered how perfect you have to be to be saved? And how perfect will we be in the last days? If you get to the place where you're aware of your perfection, you haven't reached it yet. Automatically you're probably disqualified if you think, 'I think I'm perfect now.' But job, he's an exception here. Alright, "so these men ceased answering job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath - the agitation - of elihu, The Son of barachel the buzite, of the family of ram, was aroused against job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God.

Also against his three friends" - so he's not only upset with job justifying himself, he's also upset with his friends - "was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned job. Now because they were years older than he, elihu had waited to speak..." - Now that's a very important point and you can read here, if you go down to verse 6 - oh, wait, you know what? Let me just explain something here - and this would be under the section elihu's defense of God. Now, do we need to defend God? I think that - well, you want to speak in the defense of truth, but I remember that king henry the viii lived during the time when they actually had court jesters - you've heard about court jesters - you know, they've always got them dressed up like clowns, but I don't know if that's the case, but it is true that some of the monarchs had friends in the court and they had them there because of their great sense of humor to always cheer up the King. You don't want the King sad. Bad things happen when the King is unhappy.

And so, henry viii had this court jester, but he was, you know, a pretty shrewd fellow and henry viii received a medal back then, before the church split from rome - the church of england split from rome. The church of england was part of rome in the beginning of king henry viii but when they would not approve his final divorce, there was a split. Well, up until that time the church was very happy with king henry and they gave him a medal and they called him 'the defender of the truth' and this award was made by the catholic church. They brought it in with all this pomp and said, 'your majesty, the catholic church has declared you the defender of the truth.' And the court jester said, 'good king henry,' - he said - 'I will defend you and you defend me but, believe me, the truth with defend itself.' And so, God doesn't really need us to defend him. It's not like, you know, people are going to bully God and you're going to stick up for him.

Because God is well able to take care of himself. You know, there's times you want to stand up for truth - and this is what is happening with - with elihu here. So who is he? It tells us that he is a buzite. Go - if you have your Bibles, don't lost your page in job, but go to Genesis 22, verse 20. And it says, "now it came to pass after these things that it was told Abraham, saying, 'indeed milcah also has borne children to your brother nahor: huz his firstborn, buz his brother," - how'd you like to have a couple of kids named huz and buz? (Laughter) I mean, I get mixed up with my kids.

I call Daniel nathan and nathan Daniel. Yeah, I never get the boys and the girls mixed up, but I get the boys mixed up. And their names don't really sound that alike, but if you've got a huz and a buz and you're mad and you want to call one of them, you're going to go, 'huz - buz - buz - huz - huz - buz' - you're going to get all mixed up. I remember when I lived on the navajo reservation, this one family had three boys they named edward, edwin, and eduardo - something like that - three eds. And I thought, 'boy, that's got to get confusing when you're calling them.

' Anyway - job was in the land of uz. Well, yeah, uz and buz and huz - is that what you're saying? No, this is actually a different place - "huz his firstborn, buz his brother, kemuel The Father of aram," and so elihu is related to Abraham. And so, everybody, we've learned, so far is related to Abraham and esau. The name elihu means 'he is my God' or 'he is God himself'. Whenever you see the name 'el' in the ancient aramaic, that means 'God' - that's where you get the word 'elohim' - like rachel, Michael, eliezer, Elijah, Elisha - el always was - God was part of their name in there, so you would find that a lot at the beginning or the end of a name.

And so, you can read, now, some of the statements he says in verse 34:15, "therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the almighty to commit iniquity. For he repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way. Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the almighty pervert justice. Who gave him charge over the earth? Or who appointed him over the whole world? If he should set his heart on it, if he should gather to himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh would perish together," - not just man, all flesh. If God should recall - you've heard about auto recalls, some product recalls? It's pretty serious when you've got, like, a baby product recall, but what if God should recall his spirit? Is what elihu is saying - all flesh - not just people - animals - all flesh would perish together - "and man would return to dust.

" That's similar to what Solomon says, 'the Spirit returns to God who gave it and the body returns to the dust. And so you wonder if Solomon was thinking about this verse and quoting from elihu here. Now, he has to speak. He's got all these thoughts he wants to share and he shares quite a bit because elihu, now, talks for five chapters. This young man who appears out of nowhere - and some of the scholars think, 'who wrote the book of job?' It sounds like it's not job, because it's being written about him, and they've often thought, well, maybe it was elihu, who's sitting, listening to this and he finally inserts himself as a hero.

He writes as though it's all about job and his three friends because he doesn't want to put himself in that camp, but he could have actually been the author of the book, we don't know. That's just one theory. But he says - if you go to chapter 32, verse 18 - he says, "for I am full of words; the Spirit within me compels me. Indeed my belly is like wine that has no vent;" - you know, when wine sat in the skin it began to expand. Jesus talks about if you put new wine in old wineskins, the fermentation in the old wineskins will begin to activate the yeast in the grape juice and it'll start to expand and - ".

..like new wineskins. I will speak, that I may find relief;" - you ever - you ever heard someone say, 'let me just talk and vent'? This is exactly what he's saying - 'if I don't speak - I've got to vent. I've been listening now for 31 chapters to you guys. I've got to say something now.' - "I must open my lips and answer." And then he goes into it, but he says, 'I've waited because you were my elders, but now, you're quiet, can I have a turn? I just can't hold in anymore. So he's not angry as much as he just feels like you're all missing something here about God.

And it's interesting that later, when the Lord talks to job - and I know, we'll probably cover this later, but I have to say it now also - and job offered sacrifices as your three friends did not say what was right, I want you to offer sacrifice for them, but God never says elihu said what was wrong. God never comments on elihu's comments. So he's really a mysterious person who sort of just appears out of nowhere in the book. He talks for five chapters - disappears. No other comment is made in the postlude about elihu.

And so, then you read his discourse and some of the statements you find are quoted by other Bible writers even in the new testament. And, by the way, you ever remember where Paul said, 'woe unto me if I preach not Christ'? Paul said, 'I've got the Gospel inside and I just feel like I'm bursting - I've got to tell somebody.' And so this idea of having a message all cooped up and you've just got to let it out, it may first appear here in elihu [job]. And so, there's other things that we'll look at. If you go to chapter - it says - oh yeah, the principle where he says he withdraws his spirit and man perishes and returns to the dust. Now what was written first, job or Genesis? Job.

It's a confusing question because Genesis happens first, but job was probably recorded first, by Moses, in the land of midian. But, in Genesis, it also says, 'in the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the dust for dust you are and unto dust you'll return.' That's exactly what elihu just said. You can read in Ecclesiastes 12:7, where Solomon said, "then the dust will return to the earth as it was and the Spirit will return to God who gave it." And we read where elihu said that if God should withdraw his spirit, all flesh would perish. You read in Ecclesiastes where Solomon said - by the way, one of you is going to be reading for me in just a moment, Hebrews :13, okay? Solomon says, 'for what happens to The Sons of men happens to animals. One thing befalls them - as one dies, so dies the other.

Surely they all have one breath.' Now that's very important. It says that the Spirit returns to God who gave it and the body returns to the dust. Is it just talking about the righteous or the wicked or is Solomon saying, 'that's a principle for all living things that have the Spirit of God.'? You see, some people think that that verse is saying, 'if you're good, when you die, a little good ghost pops out and goes to be with God.' Haven't you heard it interpreted that way? But if you really read what Solomon is saying, he's using the word 'spirit' as the breath of life. He's saying, 'the breath of life of all creatures returns to God, good or bad.' There's a recall on the breath. As elihu said, 'the elements return to the dust where they were.

All go to one place. All are from the dust and all return to the dust. Is that clear? Yes. It's not talking about just the good or just the bad; just the humans or just the animals, it's talking about all the breath. In job 34 - same principle - "in a moment they die, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and pass away; the mighty are taken away without a hand.

For his eyes are on the ways of man, and he sees all his steps." God sees everything. Here's another principle from elihu - that was chapter 34 - and we've got a new testament similar verse - Hebrews, please. Hebrews 4:13, "and there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Nothing is hidden from God. God sees all things, amen? And you can read in job 36 - still continuing the dialogue of elihu, "behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; he is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not preserve the life of the wicked, but gives justice to the oppressed.

He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous; but they are on the throne with Kings, for he has seated them forever, and they are exalted." And, you know, I think that one of the struggles that's happening through the book of job is the time factor. There may be times when righteous suffer, but David said, 'I was young and I'm now old' - and I don't remember that verse - if someone remembers it you can call it out to me. 'I was young and I'm now old, but I've not seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.' That's in Psalms. And have we never seen a good person hungry? But it doesn't last. God - the children of Israel were hungry in the wilderness, but in time he supplied for them.

He comes through. And so, it's a principle that, in the long run, God will always come through for his own. And some would say, 'what about the martyrs that suffered and died? He didn't come through for the righteous martyrs.' Oh yeah he did. What's the next thing a martyr's aware of when they die for their faith? It's the resurrection of being in the presence of God. And so, you know, God is good and this is what the theme is that's being borne out here.

"And they are exalted." Alright, then it goes onto the irrationality of evil and we've got a few different verses here. If you look in job 9, verse 10 - this is under the section called the irrationality of evil. First of all, how wise was lucifer before his fall? Very. You know, he was the brightest of God's creations. But the Bible says, 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

' Which means, when you cease to fear God, you're disqualified with wisdom. How wise could it be for the creature to think he could take over the creator? Now, to you and i, maybe the devil had some inside information we don't know. Maybe he thought God was vulnerable in a way we can't comprehend. But somehow, he thought he was going to overthrow God. Now, he especially hates Jesus, but who created all things? Jesus.

All things that were made were made by Christ. Is lucifer a creator or a creation? Creation. Creation. So who created the good angel, lucifer? Jesus. Jesus, right? Jesus created all things.

So the idea that you could overthrow your creator, to me, doesn't seem rational. It really seems foolish. Wouldn't you think? To - I mean, who would ever want to say, 'I think I can out box God.' If he's - one of the definitions of God is omnipotent - he's all-powerful - wouldn't it be foolish to think? Anyway, evil is irrational. Have you ever heard about the attitude that, you know, when someone realizes they're going to lose the chess game, they knock over the board? They throw the - they swipe it everywhere as though that's going to change the result. Or the idea that 'if I'm going to go down, I'm going to take as many with me as I can.

' What is the attitude of the devil? He has - "he knows he has but a short time" - Revelation chapter 12 - so he comes down with great wrath and he figures, 'if I go out, I'm going to take as many good people with me as I can.' Now is that rational? Well he is - he's evil. He's irrational. Sin will make you stupid. It will, yeah. People, when they lose their tempers, don't they do irrational things? And haven't we all heard stories of people that were just blessed and prosperous and then they did something sinful and they lost their reputation - they lost everything - and you think, 'wow, they sacrificed everything for the dumbest things.

' You hear about ministries and ministers - effective, popular, successful, prosperous - and then the evangelist, he's going out and having secret rendezvous with girls he doesn't even know except for one night. And you think about that is the dumbest thing in the world - to sacrifice all that influence that you've had, which, ostensibly, is for good, for something so foolish. Sin will make you stupid. You can read here - job 9:10, "he does great wonders [things] past finding out, yes, wonders without number." Job 40:2 - someone's going to read Romans 9:20 for me in just a moment. Job 40:2, "shall the one who contends with the almighty correct him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.

" Go ahead, you can read Romans 9:20 for us. "But indeed, o man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'why have you made me like this?'" Who wrote Romans? Paul. You think Paul read that verse we just read in job? Shall the one contend with the almighty correct him? Who rebukes God, let him answer it.' Are we going to rebuke God? Will the creation argue with the creator and say, 'oh, Lord, I think you made a mistake.'? And, you know, I meet people that don't understand the subject of the origin of sin. They think God made a devil. Or they think God made a defective angel.

What does that say about God? Does God make mistakes like that? And then, of course, there's people that think that God mis-made me. I don't mean me, I mean they say that about themselves. (Laughter) yeah. Well, you know what I'm thinking. I may as well just tell you what I'm thinking.

People are saying, 'God made a mistake. I was supposed be a girl/i was supposed to be a boy and he got mixed up. (Laughter) does God make those kind of mistakes? No. No. 1 Corinthians 13:9 and 10, "for now we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away." You know, one reason, right now, we sometimes misunderstand - we try and figure out what's going on, is because we cannot see behind the veil. There's just so much we don't understand. Matter of fact, there's more that we don't understand than we do understand. And so, this whole section about the irrationality of evil is talking about 'we don't know' - there's so much we don't know. Romans 11:33 - Paul, again, "oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!" It's like that passage we read in our memory verse, 'the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways above your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

' So how high above the earth are the heavens? I don't know how the astronomers do this. I hear they use calculus that's above and beyond what I can do, but they say that the nearest star to earth - it's either alpha centuri or alpha proximi - I think it's alpha proximi - proximi means 'close' - and they say that's four light years - first star - out of the zillions - unnumbered stars out there. The closest one we can calculate is four light years away, meaning, if you traveled the speed of light - if you traveled the speed of light, you'd be at the moon in about 9 minutes. If you traveled the speed of light 186,000 miles - no, no - you'd be at the sun - the 9 was - thank you - the moon, I think, is like 23,000 miles away - if - and the moon is, what? Million miles away. If you travel the speed of light - 186,000 - did I get that wrong again? Yes.

What'd I say? 9 Million. How many million? 9. It's ninety million. 93 Million. 93 Million.

(Laughter) and six inches. (Laughter) thank you very much. You stand corrected. I stand corrected all the time. Matter of fact, whenever I'm standing I'm usually corrected.

(Laughter) but here you've got 186,000 miles per second; traveling that speed, it takes you four years to get to the first star. So then God says, 'as the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways above your ways.' How much higher are God's ways than our ways? So whatever it is we think we know about God, compared to what we can know about God, and compared - pardon me (coughs) compared to what we will know about God when we live forever - have you ever thought, 'you know, eventually, after I live for a billion years, I'll pretty well have God figured out.'? No, he is past finding out - not only for us in this condition - you know, we live three-score and ten years, we know almost nothing about God. We're not going to know everything about God when we live forever. So how much do we not know now? The longer you live, the more you know you don't know. There is a time - the zenith - you crescendo as a teenager when you think you've got it all figured out.

And then, as you mature, you start realizing, 'well, maybe I don't have it.' And then, there's a real epiphany when you get in your 20s and you think, 'maybe mom and dad weren't so stupid.' They may not say that, but they may think it. They start thinking that 'maybe they knew something after all.' But then as - the longer you live, you realize, of all the knowledge out there, you know a very little part of it. And so, it's irrational for us to think that we can explain the - I said all I said to make this point. It's the point of job - the book of job - that there's a whole lot we don't understand. You've got job and his three friends and elihu all trying to explain God, but in the bottom line, elihu says, 'he's past finding out.

' We - and that's probably the one thing that he's saying that isn't being said as clearly by job and by his friends. Job is saying, 'I don't know why this is happening. I'm innocent.' And his friends are saying, 'you must have done something wrong, because only the wicked suffer.' And elihu comes in and he says, 'hey guys, there's a lot that we don't know about God.' And then God later re-emphasizes that truth in the further chapters. We've still got three chapters to go in this study. Alright, the challenge of faith is our last section - the challenge of faith.

And elihu's still speaking here. Someone's going to read for me 1 Kings 3:7. I'm going to read job 36:1-4, "elihu also proceeded and said:" - matter of fact, as you read through it says, 'moreover, elihu said' 'further, elihu said' - he talked quite a bit - "elihu also proceeded and said: 'bear with me a little, and I will show you that there are yet words to speak on God's behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe righteousness to my maker. For truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

" Now he's not saying that he is perfect in knowledge, I don't think. I think that elihu is saying that God is perfect in knowledge and he, through his spirit, is here. Alright, go ahead, read for us, please, 1 Kings. 1 Kings 3:7, "now, o Lord my God, you have made your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in." So when we describe the wisest man who ever lived, who pops into your mind first? Solomon. Solomon.

Of course, Jesus was wiser but he gets a pass because he was God. Among regular men, Solomon was the wisest man. What was Solomon's idea about how much he knew? He says, 'Lord, I'm a little child compared to all there is to be known. I don't know how to go out or come in.' Solomon also repeated, from the book of job, 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. 1 Corinthians 13:9, Paul also bears out this theme, "for we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away." Now, every now and then I'll get a letter - I get a pretty regular stream of letters - 'Pastor Doug, you said something wrong in your sermon.' Sometimes I respectfully disagree. Sometimes I say, 'well, I'm not sure and you're not sure either.' And sometimes I have to say, 'you're right.' They give the other verses, they give the corresponding information - I say, 'I was wrong.' And then I'll follow up with a verse and cyndee, who works in the Amazing Facts correspondence department, because a lot of the questions we get are doctrinal questions that are basic - they're standard - state of the dead, you know, we do our programs and they want to know about the Sabbath truth and some of these things, so we have regular answers we send out. I've told cyndee that, when someone corrects me, and if I have made a mistake or misspoken, there's that verse in the Bible that says, 'in a multitude of words, sin is not wanting.' Simple translation means: the more you talk, more chance you're going to say something wrong. And so, even preachers, when they stand before people, need to admit 'I'm not the pope. He's not perfect and I know I'm not.

' You know, the catholic church used to claim infallibility and everything the pope said was ex cathedra - it was the Word of God. And no preacher should ever say that. You do your best to speak the words of the Lord, and as long as you stick to the Bible you know you're getting close. But how much higher - you know, Paul is saying, 'for we prophesy in part' - we only know in part - 'we see through a glass dimly.' Our mirrors today are much more accurate than they were in Bible times. In Bible times a mirror, you know, imperfect surface - it was a little wavy and when you looked at yourself it wasn't a perfect representation.

And then you've got 2 Corinthians 5:7, "for we walk by faith, not by sight." In job 36:6 - another statement of elihu - "he preserves not the life of the wicked, but gives right to the poor." Again, he's stating the overriding principle that you find through the Bible and through the book of job is that God does bless the righteous. And though the wicked may seem to prosper and though the sinner may seem to flourish for a while, king David said, 'do not fret' - psalm 37 - 'because of them because they're rejoicing is temporary. In the end, I know it will be well with the righteous. It will not be well with the wicked.' And anyway, so you need to read those five chapters of elihu and let me know what you think. There have been all kinds of theories about him.

Some say the Holy Spirit suddenly appeared in the form of this man and all that elihu said was the Holy Spirit. Some have said elihu was really a Christophany - do you know what a Christophany is? When Jesus appeared at the burning bush to Moses, it's - they believe it was Christ. The one who appeared as the angel of the Lord to Joshua, when Joshua took off his shoes and bowed before him, was a Christophany. The - one of the times when Jesus appeared to Abraham - that's why Christ said, 'before Abraham was, I am.' When Christ appeared to Abraham as he was with his angels on his way to sodom and gomorrah, it was a Christophany. And some have wondered if elihu was actually a Christophany.

I don't think so. I think it's an actual person there, but what he says is pretty mysterious because there's a lot of theories out there among the commentators, how this man appears out of nowhere and has so much to say. Anyway, that's the end of our study for today. I want to thank those who have joined us and remind you, we do have a free book. This is a full-length book.

You know, the book of job talks about when you go through trials and darkness and this is a book called, a deep but dazzling darkness: exploring God's dark side in the light of his love. When you're going through trials you might like this. Read it and share it with a friend. It's offer #820 and just call the number 866-788-3966 and we'll send you a free copy. That's 866-study-more.

God bless you, friends, we'll look forward to exploring His Word together again, next week. Friends, we're out here in the pacific ocean not too far from the island of fiji, and we're getting ready to look at some wonders in the deep. The Bible says God made the heaven and the earth and the sea. And there are things under the sea that are beautiful that many people have never seen. Some folks might just skim along - snorkel on the surface, but if you want to see the real majesty of the ocean, you've got to go deeper.

(Lively music) because people don't have gills like fish, we have to do something extraordinary to be able to breathe below the surface. Because you have to breathe all the time, we need this special equipment. (Sound of breathing apparatus) in the same way, the Bible says a Christian needs to pray without ceasing. We need to always be breathing the atmosphere of heaven if we're going to live a Christian life in this world below. Wow, what a wonderful world.

Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming, visit the Amazing Facts media library at 'aftv.org'. At 'aftv.org' you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Visit 'aftv.org'. (Dramatic music) (rain falling) (creaking doors) throughout recorded history tales of ghosts and spirits could be found in folklore in nearly every country and culture. The Egyptians built pyramids to help guide the Spirits of their leaders.

Rome sanctioned holidays to honor and appease the Spirits of their dead. Even the Bible tells of a king that used a witch to contact the Spirit of a deceased prophet. Today, ancient folklore of spirits and apparitions have gone from mere superstitions to main stream entertainment and reality. Scientific organizations investigate stories of hauntings and sightings, trying to prove, once and for all, the existence of ghosts. Even with all the newfound technology and centuries of stories all over the world, there is still no clear-cut answer.

So how do we know what's true? Why do these stories persist? Does it even matter? We invite you to look inside and find out for yourself. Visit deathtruth.com.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question