TODAY’S READING: JOB 31-34
Job finished pleading his case. His three friends had no more answers for him. But, out of nowhere, comes Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite of the family of Ram.
Who is Elihu?
Elihu is a picture of Jesus.
Let’s start with Elihu’s name and lineage to see how he pictures Jesus.
The name Elihu means “he is my God” or “God the Lord.”
The name Barachel means “God has blessed” or “blessed of the Lord.”
Elihu is the son of Barachel. “He is my God” is the son of “God has blessed.” I see this as Jesus and the Father.
Matthew 3:16-17 says, “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'”
The Father blessed Jesus with the indwelling presence of the Spirit. Also, the Father said he was well pleased with his son. The Greek word for well pleased also means to take delight in, to consent, to enjoy, to find pleasure in. If you are well pleased with someone or something, then you are blessed by him or it. So, we can Jesus as blessed of the Lord.
Elihu was a Buzite. The name Buz means contempt. That Elihu was a Buzite means that he was of contempt just like an American is of America. One meaning of contempt is the state of being despised.
In Mark 9:12, Jesus said, “And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?”
Luke 23:11 says, “And Herod with his soldiers treated him [Jesus] with contempt and mocked him.”
Hebrews 6:4-6 says, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
In Mark 9:12, when Jesus said that it was written that the son of man would suffer many things and be treated with contempt, he was referencing the song of the suffering servant in Isaiah 52 and 53. Specifically, Jesus was referencing Isaiah 53:3, which says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Jesus truly was “God the Lord” the son “blessed of the Lord” who was a man of contempt.
The name Ram means high or exalted. Jesus was high or lifted up on the cross. And, it was because of his obedience to death, even death on the cross, that resulted in the Father exalting Jesus to the throne in heaven (Philippians 2:5-11).
Therefore, Elihu’s name and lineage reveal him as a picture of Jesus.
As I mentioned above, Job and his three friends had come to the end of their words. They were unable to convince each other that the he was right and the others wrong. In a sense, they had reached the depths of their darkness.
And, suddenly Elihu appeared. He appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Yet, Elihu knew everything that the Job and his three friends said. It was as if Elihu had been there all along.
Then, after Elihu’s words were made known, he just as quickly disappeared from the story. Elihu’s time was very brief.
This reminds us of Jesus. He appeared at the peak of darkness. John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
1 Peter 1:20 says, “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times.” Even though Jesus was foreknown and present before the foundation of the Lord, he was manifested, or appeared, at the appointed time.
Why did Elihu appear?
To set Job and his friends straight on who God is. And, this is one of the reasons why Jesus appeared – to reveal to us the true character and nature of the Father.
Many of Elihu’s words are very similar to the things that Jesus would say hundreds, if not thousands, of years later. And, if Elihu’s words are not similar to something Jesus himself said, then they are similar to what the writers of the New Testament said about Jesus.
Let’s look at just one example.
In Job 32:9, Elihu said, “But is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.”
In John 16:12-13, Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
Just like Elihu, Jesus said it is the Spirit that brings understanding, truth, revelation, and light to man.
So, Elihu’s name, appearing, and words are a wonderful picture of Jesus.