35 Then Elihu continued, saying:2 Do you think it is just when you say,
“I am righteous before God”?
3 For you ask, “What does it profit you,[a]
and what benefit comes to me, if I do not sin?”
4 I will answer you
and your friends with you.
5 Look at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds high above you.
6 If you sin, how does it affect God?
If you multiply your transgressions, what does it do to him?
7 If you are righteous, what do you give him,
or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness affects a person like yourself,
and your righteousness, a son of man.[b]
9 People cry out because of severe oppression;
they shout for help because of the power of the mighty.
10 But no one asks, “Where is God my Maker,
who provides us with songs in the night,
11 who gives us more understanding than the animals of the earth
and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?”
12 There they cry out, but he does not answer,
because of the pride of evil people.
13 Indeed, God does not listen to empty cries,
and the Almighty does not take note of it—
14 how much less when[c] you complain[d]
that you do not see him,
that your case is before him
and you are waiting for him.
15 But now, because God’s anger does not punish
and he does not pay attention to transgression,[e]
16 Job opens his mouth in vain
and multiplies words without knowledge.36 Then Elihu continued, saying:2 Be patient with me a little longer, and I will inform you,
for there is still more to be said on God’s behalf.
3 I will get my knowledge from a distant place
and ascribe justice to my Maker.
4 Indeed, my words are not false;
one who has complete knowledge is with you.5 Yes, God is mighty, but he despises no one;
he understands all things.[f]
6 He does not keep the wicked alive,
but he gives justice to the oppressed.
7 He does not withdraw his gaze from the righteous,
but he seats them forever with enthroned kings,
and they are exalted.8 If people are bound with chains
and trapped by the cords of affliction,
9 God tells them what they have done
and how arrogantly they have transgressed.
10 He opens their ears to correction
and tells them to repent from iniquity.
11 If they listen and serve him,
they will end their days in prosperity
and their years in happiness.
12 But if they do not listen,
they will cross the river of death[g]
and die without knowledge.13 Those who have a godless heart harbor anger;
even when God binds them, they do not cry for help.
14 They die in their youth;
their life ends among male cult prostitutes.
15 God rescues the afflicted by their affliction;
he instructs them by their torment.16 Indeed, he lured you from the jaws[h] of distress
to a spacious and unconfined place.
Your table was spread with choice food.
17 Yet now you are obsessed with the judgment due the wicked;
judgment and justice have seized you.
18 Be careful that no one lures you with riches;[i]
do not let a large ransom[j] lead you astray.
19 Can your wealth[k] or all your physical exertion
keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the night
when nations will disappear from their places.
21 Be careful that you do not turn to iniquity,
for that is why you have been tested by[l] affliction.22 Look, God shows himself exalted by his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has appointed his way for him,
and who has declared, “You have done wrong”?
24 Remember that you should praise his work,
which people have sung about.
25 All mankind has seen it;
people have looked at it from a distance.
26 Yes, God is exalted beyond our knowledge;
the number of his years cannot be counted.
27 For he makes waterdrops evaporate;[m]
they distill the rain into its[n] mist,
28 which the clouds pour out
and shower abundantly on mankind.
29 Can anyone understand how the clouds spread out
or how the thunder roars from God’s pavilion?
30 See how he spreads his lightning around him
and covers the depths of the sea.
31 For he judges the nations with these;
he gives food in abundance.
32 He covers his hands with lightning
and commands it to hit its mark.
33 The[o] thunder declares his presence;[p]
the cattle also, the approaching storm.37 My heart pounds at this
and leaps from my chest.[q]
2 Just listen to his thunderous voice
and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
3 He lets it loose beneath the entire sky;
his lightning to the ends of the earth.4 Then there comes a roaring sound;
God thunders with his majestic voice.
He does not restrain the lightning
when his rumbling voice is heard.
5 God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6 For he says to the snow, “Fall to the earth,”
and the torrential rains, his mighty torrential rains,
7 serve as his sign to all mankind,
so that all men may know his work.
8 The wild animals enter their lairs
and stay in their dens.
9 The windstorm comes from its chamber,
and the cold from the driving north winds.
10 Ice is formed by the breath of God,
and watery expanses are frozen.
11 He saturates clouds with moisture;
he scatters his lightning through them.
12 They swirl about,
turning round and round at his direction,
accomplishing everything he commands them
over the surface of the inhabited world.
13 He causes this to happen for punishment,
for his land, or for his faithful love.14 Listen to this, Job.
Stop and consider God’s wonders.
15 Do you know how God directs his clouds
or makes their lightning flash?
16 Do you understand how the clouds float,
those wonderful works of him who has perfect knowledge?
17 You whose clothes get hot
when the south wind brings calm to the land,
18 can you help God spread out the skies
as hard as a cast metal mirror?
19 Teach us what we should say to him;
we cannot prepare our case because of our darkness.
20 Should he be told that I want to speak?
Can a man speak when he is confused?
21 Now no one can even look at the sun
when it is in the skies,
after a wind has swept through and cleared the clouds away.[r]
22 Yet out of the north he comes, shrouded in a golden glow;
awesome majesty surrounds him.
23 The Almighty—we cannot reach him—
he is exalted in power!
He will not violate justice and abundant righteousness,
24 therefore, men fear him.
He does not look favorably on any who are wise in heart.
Job had spoken things about God that were not true. In his anger and despair he had misspoken about God. He essentially asked what benefit is it to be righteous if suffering would still come. In other words, if I am proven innocent before God surely all of these bad things that have happened will go away.
The reality is following God and being righteous does not exclude you from tragedy and suffering. We live in a fallen world that is full of tragedy and suffering. Some would preach as truth what Job was saying. This simply isn’t the truth