Today's devotion from Job 34 and 35.
In all of the discussion contained in Job, Elihu sees a theme emerge that warrants our attention. Essentially, Job has been bordering on accusing God of wrongdoing. If Job is so righteous, and their theology is that the righteous are blessed instead of cursed, then the point could be pushed that God is in the wrong.
After pointing this out, Elihu asks, "Do you think this to be just? Do you say, 'It is my right before God,' that you ask, 'What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?'" (Job 35:2-3, ESV) Think about these words. Meditate on them. Realize how eerily they shadow Satan's accusation against God. Is the only reason to worship God in what we get out of it?
How many times have I heard people discuss "not getting anything" out of the worship service? Is the worship service for you? How many people have become frustrated and angry at God when something "bad" happens in their life even after their attempts to live faithfully? When we begin to entertain these thoughts, we need an Elihu in our lives who can point out the flawed motivations.
We worship God because He is God, and He is worthy of all praise. We obey God not to get something from Him, but because He is God and is worthy of our allegiance. Basically, He is God and we are not, and that should be enough. Yet, even as I type this I realize that I have been guilty of these thoughts.
How do we combat this in our lives? I believe there are two main ingredients, and Elihu hits on them both. First, we need humility. In his dialog in chapter 35 he speaks of the effects of pride. Second, we need truth. His speech in chapter 36 will extol the greatness of God. Maybe today would be a good day to remember your humble status before a great God before asking, "Am I better off?"