2 Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. 3 He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.
Reading through the book of Job, it is hard to figure out what to think. As we see the speeches made by Job and his three friends, we see men using truths to reason falsely. However, seeing the frustration of Elihu here in chapter 32 helps so much of the book to fall into place. So, if you have been confused by reading chapters 3 to 31, the opening of chapter 32 is very enlightening.
There are two major errors that we see happening in Job in the conversation between Job and his three friends. In general, we tend to notice the error of the friends. They tell Job that the only possible reason that he is suffering is because of some sin that he has committed that he will not repent of. Even though these men often say true things about the sinfulness of man in comparison to God, they are wrong, terribly wrong, about the reason behind Job’s suffering. Thus. Elihu is rightly angry at these men for spouting off falsehood to a friend who needs comfort, not reproof.
On the other hand, Job has also raised the ire of Elihu. Elihu is angry that Job, through his speech, has sought to justify himself instead of God. This is not good. Job decries the unfairness, the injustice of his suffering. Elihu is angry, and rightly so, that Job is not first and foremost acknowledging that God is good and always does rightly.
The book of Job reminds us of two major truths. First, you do not know why people suffer or why they are blessed. Yes, God is in control. However, you do not know why our Lord moves as he does. Thus, you have no business assuming that you know the reason why God blessed or did not bless someone.
Second, Job teaches us that, when life is hard, God is still good. Job was frustrated. He wanted to see himself justified, even at the expense of God’s reputation. But we see from this book that such is a wrong tactic. God is holy. God is just. God is good, always good. Never are we the ones in the right with God in the wrong.