Every great story has a twist. The twist in the book of Job is that there has been another person listening to the conversation between Job and his friends the whole time! In chapter 32, Elihu comes on the scene, and what we know about him is that he is the youngest person in the conversation and he is basically going to call out both Job and his friends at the same time. We will see Elihu from chapter 32-37.
We will look more at Elihu in the next few days, but a principle to take away from today is that Elihu shows wisdom in being slow to speak. The content of what he says is actually never explicitly confirmed or denied by God at the end of the book:
“Interpreters have differed on how to understand the function of Elihu’s speeches in light of this lack of explicit reference or evaluation. While the Lord’s response to Job will include some vocabulary and references that are similar to portions of Elihu’s speeches, he does not commend either Elihu’s suggested reasons for Job’s suffering or his anger against Job.” (ESV Study Bible)
But what we do know is that a mark of wisdom is being quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).
How often do we quickly react without thinking about our actions? How many problems could be avoided if we were slower to speak and react, and quicker to listen and understand? It is certainly possible that you might still come to the same conclusion about a situation, but at least you would know that you did your due diligence in knowing what the situation truly is.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate