Nearer the truth - Job 32

This is a sermon by Melvin Tinker from the morning service on 11th February 2018.

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Nearer the Truth

Job 32-39


  • How are we to think of God in the midst of suffering?


Job doesn’t deny God’s power, but does question his purity (goodness).


  • The newcomer - Elihu (‘He is my God’)

He is not impressed by Job’s friends (32:12)

He not impressed by Job who comes close to blasphemy by defending his own character at the expense of God’s (33:8-12)



  • 2 Reasons given as to why Job is going down a dangerous path.
  • God is greater than us (33:12). The fact that we may not be able to see a reason for suffering doesn’t mean that there isn’t one known to God.
  • Change of perspective. Instead of looking back for a cause to suffering (the retribution principle), we should look forward to a purpose. One possible purpose could be instruction/sanctification, 33:17–18; 33:19; 36:10; 36:15.

‘A sick-bed teaches more than a sermon.’- Thomas Watson

‘Here is a chastening use of suffering that may be independent of some particular sin. Its purpose may be preventative; it can stop a person from slithering down the slope to destruction.’- D.A. Carson


  • God’s ‘boot camp’

This is instruction not retribution.






This runs counter to our cultural expectations and desires.


How will we respond?




  • How are we to think of God? The trilemma:

‘If God is perfectly loving and good he must wish to abolish evil; if God is all powerful he must be able to abolish evil. But evil exists therefore God cannot be both perfectly good and all powerful.’


Some solve the problem by denying the God of the Bible i.e. they think of God differently. God is not powerful or God is not good or suffering doesn’t exist.


Elihu is getting Job to think of God’s goodness being expressed differently with suffering not being retribution (which would bring into question God’s goodness) but instruction which has a good end in view.


Jerry Sittser



Mary Craig














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