Today you should read: Job 32
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
We have a fourth friend in our passage today named Elihu. He, like Timothy, is young and younger than his three friends. He has shown respect to his elders and waited to speak until now. It would seem that Elihu may have been the only friend concerned with the correct thing. Some scholars believe that some of Elihu’s rebuke to Job sounds similar to the language that God uses later when He addresses Job. I think we can learn a couple of things from Elihu.
1. He showed respect even when disagreeing with his elders.
He waited to speak and allowed his elders to speak first. This was a sign of respect and we can learn something from this. Our younger generation has lost respect for our elders. I think in a culture that is very individualistic we have lost out on sitting and learning from the generation that has paved the way for us. It doesn’t mean that the older generation is always right but all of us in the younger generation (that includes me) should at the least respect the fact that those who have gone before us have a lot to offer in life experience. Good or bad we can learn from it.
2. Elihu had the right idea but wrong approach.
I think he was right to be angry when Job in the moment was justifying himself and not God (Job 32:2) but lashing out in anger at Job‘s friends was not the way to react (v.5) Paul speaks about this subject in 1 Timothy 5:1, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,”.
3. Wisdom comes from The Lord and not age.
Although experience can help one to learn and gain wisdom it does not guarantee it. I have met many older unwise people. James tells us “that if anyone lacks wisdom then he should ask God” (James 5:1). Elihu understood this same principle:
“But it is the spirit in man,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old who are wise,
nor the aged who understand what is right.”
Let us all seek wisdom from the only one who can give it, God our father. My prayer is that God will strengthen you today and give you his wisdom.
Posted by: Chad Wiles