“I’m going to speak now. I’m not God. I was just made by God like you, so maybe you won’t be scared to hear from me?”
“Now you’ve said you’re pure and that God is finding guilt and punishing you when there is no guilt. That God sees you as an enemy, but you’re wrong. God is greater than we are. Why do you complain that He won’t tell you why you suffer? God does speak, but no one hears it. He teaches us, so that we might live. He hurts us, so that we go near death, so He can bring us back from the pit and we might appreciate life… you know… like Jigsaw from that series of movies that started out okay, but just stopped making sense even before the Dread Pirate Wesley cut off his own foot? Anyway, God hurts us, so we can come back from death and tell everyone how great He is for only making us suffer a little bit instead of killing us.”
Elihu continues, “Sure Job says he’s not guilty, but God is just and God repays every man according to his deeds. Job walks with wicked men and speaks profanely when he says being on God’s good side profits a man nothing.”
“God can’t do wrong. He’s not going to act badly or without justice. He’s the guy in charge, and if He chooses to, He can kill us all anytime He chooses and no one could complain about that. God sees everything, so He chooses to destroy some men. The strongest, He crushes and sets another in their place.”
“Who are we to challenge Him or complain? Has any of us suffered at the hand of God and stopped sinning? God’s going to do to you what seems right to Him, not what seems right to you. Mysterious ways and all that stuff.”
“But you’re sinning more, Job, by complaining about your suffering.”
Elihu apparently is a Calvinist.
“You don’t give anything to God by being righteous. God is not hurt by your sinning. Your actions only affect men. People cry out and God does not answer because of their pride. So when you complain that God is silent, you’re being arrogant. God knows your state and you just have to wait for Him to get around to destroying you or helping you out. You know, whatever He chooses because we’re pretty much cosmic pawns here is what I’m getting at.”
“Now, I’m not going to boast here, but I’m perfect in knowledge.”
“God is great. God punishes the wicked. God delivers the righteous and…”
Okay, I’m going to break in because Elihu says nothing worth mentioning that hasn’t been said before. Seriously, Elihu, all of Job’s friends have repeated this same mantra for the last 35 chapters and it still doesn’t make it true. The wicked do pretty damn well in the world, while the innocent suffer immensely and huddle together in airports and tents in the middle of the desert without food and water. Repeating the mantra that if we just worship God the right way, everything will work out is bullshit. I know a couple tangentially who are watching their three year-old slowly die of cancer. Good people, love God. What possible sins could a three year-old commit to deserve pediatric cancer, you Bronze Age half-wit?
Back to Job, I guess…
“Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power and love. Our God is an awesome God…” (Who occasionally doles out cancer to children…)
Elihu spends one more chapter telling us just how bloody great God is.
God shows up. “Hey, Job, stop talking shit. Are you God? Do you know what it’s like to be Me? I created the universe and you’re going to tell Me that I’m wrong?”
God says, “Do you watch animals give birth? Do you know everything about the critters running around down there? Because I do. You just don’t understand what it’s like being God.
Job says, “Okay, I don’t know what it’s like to be God. So fine, I’ll stop complaining about my suffering.”
God says, “Oh, are you going to complain to Me? Is the little insignificant speck going to say I’m wrong? Why don’t you try being God and then I’ll answer to you. Did you make a mythical monster Behemoth? I didn’t think so.”
“How about a mythical sea beast Leviathan? I made that. Yeah. So there….”
“Oh Lord, you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want to do, so I’m really sorry.”
So God speaks to Job’s friends and says, “Hey, you guys were talking bad about Me to Job. You kept saying I punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous, instead of telling Job that He’s just too dumb and insignificant to understand why I do the things I do. You better get Job to pray for you or I’m going to kill you.”
So Job prays for His friends and God spares them.
Then God restores Job’s fortunes and gives him ten new children which were more handsome and more attractive than the last ten kids, so I guess that makes up for having killed the first ten, right? Anyway, Job died 140 years later happy.
And presumably, Satan had to pay God a dollar for losing their bet.