The Blessed Recall

We are about to embark on a story that may not be very familiar to you. One of the main characters in the book of Job is a man called Elihu. Job has been debating with his friends on God’s justice. In chapter 31, he asserts his innocence, claiming he did no wrong, and then demands answers for his suffering. Elihu hears of Job’s frustrations and comes to help draw a different conclusion to his suffering. We will look at how he responded to Job and become an encourager to him.

Then we will compare the Elihu/Job interaction with John the Baptist’s experience of doubt and struggle. John the Baptist has been in prison and begins to question if Jesus is the “Expected One” of whom he had preached.

We will see that God has a way to deliver a confirmation that He will never leave us in our suffering.


  • Describe who Elihu is and what is happening in Job 32:1-5
    • One of Job’s friends.
    • He is the son of a man named Barachel the Buzite.
    • He is from the family of Ram.
    • Job has been suffering.
    • Job was having discussions with his friends about his suffering.
    • Job is justifying himself.
    • Other.
  • According to Elihu, what is Job saying to himself about his current situation? Job 34:5-6
    • He is righteous.
    • He did no wrong.
    • His pain could not be cured.
    • God took his rights.
    • Other.
  • How does Elihu describe God’s actions in Job 34:10-12?
    • God does no evil.
    • God allows things to happen.
    • God will not pervert justice.
    • God repays people for their work.
    • Other.
  • How did Jesus describe John the Baptist’s role and ministry? Matthew 11:9-11.
    • John was more than a prophet.
    • John was the messenger.
    • John was the one to prepare the way for God.
    • No one was “greater than John."
    • Other.
  • How was John the Baptist’s faith in Jesus restored after a season of doubt? Luke 7:18-22.
    • Jesus confirmed John through His healing works.
    • Jesus confirms by preaching to people.
    • Jesus confirms by resurrecting people.
    • Jesus confirms by rebuking evils spirits.
    • Jesus tells John’s disciples to let him know what is happening.
    • Other.


This week’s passage covers many chapters in different parts of the Bible. We see how Job needed encouragement for the loss that he had experienced and the physical, mental, emotional distress he was going through. It isn’t always easy to know what to say or how to say it. Elihu acknowledges that he is younger than Job. Culturally, a younger person doesn’t correct or address an older person with counsel. Yet he dares to share and try to encourage Job.
We are often more afraid of what we think we may say and thus say nothing. You have heard it said that if you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything. How about maybe trying to say something and being humble to acknowledge that you may not be saying the right things and by saying that to the person they know your heart when trying to encourage. Realizing this is a humble and authentic posture when approaching a suffering person.

In the case of John the Baptist, his suffering was for his preaching, leading to incarceration. While alone in prison, his purpose and ministry zeal began to fade away to the point of doubting in his purpose and calling. Jesus sends confirmation through John’s disciples. It didn’t even come directly from Jesus. Yet the words brought back were enough to know that they were from Jesus. The message was, “I am the One you preached about, and I am doing what you said I would do and bringing the hope to the people you preached to.” In other words, you are not in jail for a lie.


The goal in Fresh Start is to look at relationships we need to restore. Are there people whom we have been thinking of recently? Are there friends you miss seeing in the church pews? Do we know anyone we have not visited with for some months?
Perhaps most of us need to be Elihu to someone this week. Maybe we need to reach out to hear their story. We may need to hear what issues may be going on in their lives. We may need to reflect on God’s presence on how it has impacted our lives.
Some people may have some emotions that John the Baptist might have felt. We may know people who may feel abandonment, faithless confusion, or insecurity in their choices. Let us be like Jesus and be that friend who confirms and empowers others to know God is with them. If we can experience it for ourselves, they can see it too, with our testimonies.

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