Job – Chapter 34

"Let Me Speak to Your Supervisor!"

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Elihu took a breather, then he resumed:

“All you wise people should listen to me. Let your ears sample my words like your mouths taste food. Let us clarify matters and we’ll see what’s what. Job is sure that he is innocent and that G-d is punishing him for no reason. By accusing G-d of being unjust, Job is effectively calling Him a liar. Job indulges in such scornful words as if they were water. Job has done G-d a great disservice by claiming there is no benefit in following G-d. Listen to me! G-d does not act unjustly! He pays all people according to what they have earned! He can’t be bribed and He doesn’t play favorites!”

“No one else put G-d in charge of the world; He has no boss to report to. There’s no need for Him to make up excuses for the things He does, as He is the Ultimate Authority. If G-d wants to, He can just recall the soul that He put into a person, no questions asked. He could withdraw the gift of life from the entire world at once if it pleased Him to do so!”

“Do you think G-d will heal those who despise righteousness? Will you accuse Him of being unfair? It’s not proper to insult a king, certainly not THE King! He shows no favoritism – the mighty and the humble are all the same before Him. He made them and their brief lives are in His hands. The fate of entire nations is up to Him! G-d sees everything man does and He reacts accordingly; nothing is hidden from Him. There’s absolutely no reason for Him to add anything to a person’s sins when He judges because He knows what’s what. If a person deserves it, G-d will turn their day into night.”

“He struck down the wicked of Sodom in public, so that others would see and learn from it. The people of Sodom wholly distanced themselves from G-d, causing the oppressed of the city to cry out to Him. (The cry of the oppressed is exactly the kind of thing to which G-d pays attention!) After G-d has given the victims relief from their oppressors, who would dare emulate them in perpetrating evil? And if G-d hides Himself from people, who could find Him? The same is true in the micro, dealing with individuals, and in the macro, dealing with nations. G-d will not permit the wicked to thrive so that they may continue to trap the innocent.”

“You know what you should have done, Job? You should have accepted the pains that G-d gave you in lieu of destruction. You should have acknowledged that this is G-d’s way of correcting you; you should evaluate your deeds and fix them! Do you really think that G-d should have consulted you regarding your own punishment? Smart people will understand that the things you have said were not wise; your judgment was clearly affected by all your suffering. Oh, G-d! May Job be tried forever until he repents, so that others will see that what he said was wrong! The more he talks, the more sins he piles up!”

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