God our Teacher


Take care; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction. Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him?”                                    – Job 36:21-22 ESV

When we suffer…

Reading about the life of Job can be terrifying. We read about a man who suffers, and not at the hand of something strictly evil, but under an affliction permitted by a “good” God. Not only is the suffering excruciating for Job and his family, but a deluge of confusing questions and advise surfaces in his own mind and in the life of his friends.

We can read The Book of Job, and see how some similar threads of confusion and accusation go through our minds during our suffering:

  • Is God Good? Is He with me?
  • I must have done something wrong to deserve this…
  • See your pride finally got to you…
  • You’re the only one that has to go through this…
  • Nobody is listening, nor do they care…

An Education in Worship in a storm…

Job sits around with his friends in a circle trying to solve his suffering, and in Chapter 32-37, the text goes from poetry to narrative, and Elihu, the only seeming voice of reason in the conversation, interrupts the two older friends of Job to give Job some much-needed words of wisdom. In Elihu’s wisdom to Job, he utters the words aforementioned; “Take care; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction. Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him?” (Job 36:21-22 ESV)

Elihu cautions Job to think upon a do a few things in his suffering (over and above just whining and complaining):

He cautions Job not to let his frustration at the pain, plunge him into sinning against God: This is our tendency as humans–to throw down the gantlet in the midst of our struggle, and react in anger towards God and disobey him out of confusion or spite. Elihu presents JOB with an opportunity. He challenges Job to differentiate between the intentions of an evil adversary and a good God. Satan, wants Job to sin in his sufferings–to curse God and die. God wants Job to press into the suffering to be proved genuine, beautiful, and faithful.


He advises Job to choose affliction: What? you may ask!! Choose affliction? This is like asking for punishment. No! I don’t think this is what Elihu has in mind. I think he’s advising Job to receive this difficult situation as a blessing in a thornHe’s advising Job to surrender and cling to the God allowing such a hurt, in order to learn something deeply important and profound about human nature, and divine sovereignty and healing.


He reminds Job that suffering is about worship and educationThe end to God’s means, in allowing Job’s suffering, is to demonstrate to Job his power and to give Job an education. From teacher to pupil, God teaches Job that He is beyond comprehension and expectation.

Education or Iniquity…

Have you ever considered heeding Elihu’s advice and embracing your struggles and suffering in hopes that God might teach you something unspeakable of His power? Will you consider today approaching your suffering as an opportunity to declare and experience God’s greatness rather than surrendering to your sin and solemn drudgery?

God has a way of giving all of us an education. He has a way of discipling us in the curriculum of His sufferings. Are we listening? Are we taking notes? This is our worship!

Author: Dave Yauk

Dave Yauk is first a foremost a follower of Jesus. He is Husband to Katie, and Father to 4 wonderful children (Naomi, Jesse, Levi, and Analise). Dave's primary passion is to seek after Gods Glory in all things, and in his contribution you'll find he holds a passion for Theology and all things Beautiful as seen in the Creator, Creativity, Character and Culture. Dave has been privileged to do ministry in over 17 countries. This has been his primary means of education and learning as a follower of Jesus. However, Dave has also had the honor of getting a B.A. from Colorado Christian University in Organizational Management and Christian Leadership, a Master's in Divinity from Liberty University, and a Doctorate in Worship Studies from I.W.S. Dave owns the Garden City Project (an online collaborative marketplace for Christian artists and innovators), Finale School of Music, and teaches online guitar for Jamplay.com. He is also a Professor of Theology, Worship and Missiology at Visible Music College and Grand Canyon University.

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