Elihu continues his reprimand of Job. After half-way listening to Job, he believes Job to be self-righteous, arrogantly ignoring wise counsel and thinking himself above God. He goes on to accuse Job of implying that sin was insignificant and apparently makes no difference. But his answer – Elihu who claimed to know better than the other three and have a different answer – is the same as the others have already said. God is too high and too great to be overly concerned with the troubles of one sinful person. What comfort! Not to mention, this thinking is literally the opposite of everything presented in Scripture. The truth of God is exactly the contrary; he cares and he intervenes to provide help and salvation. That’s the Easter message of Jesus’ coming and his death.
At least he is correct in encouraging men to remember God and cry out to him in their good times, and not just in their distress. He must not have known Job well, for Job was one known to pray regularly and spend time with God long before calamity struck him. But his wise counsel, few as they may be, are lost in the midst of so much parroting the others. Most of all of chapter 36 is saying the same things the others had already said – this is Job’s fault for his sins; if he would just repent, God would turn favor on him again.
Elihu ends his speaking with a reaffirmation of his belief that God is distant, somewhat uninvolved, with no reason or compulsion to answer any man. I see some contradiction in Elihu’s logic. First he says God sees and rewards the righteous. Then he says God is aloof with no reason to care for the troubles of one man, or even of this world.