Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.
Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments. Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily. Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,
“I am young and you are old, so I held back from telling you what I think. I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’
But there is a Holy Spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent.
Sometimes the elders are not wise. Sometimes the aged do not understand justice. So listen to me, and let me tell you what I think. “I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments, listening to you grope for words. I have listened, but not one of you has refuted Job or answered his arguments. And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us. Only God can convince him.’
If Job had been arguing with me, I would not answer with your kind of logic! You sit there baffled, with nothing more to say. Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent? Must I also remain silent? No, I will say my piece. I will speak my mind. For I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. I am like a cask of wine without a vent, like a new wineskin ready to burst! I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers. I won’t play favorites or try to flatter anyone. For if I tried flattery, my Creator would soon destroy me. [Job 32]
A few thoughts stuck out for me:
- I loved Elijuh's handling of this situation. He gave respect to his elders and let them speak first. A sign of good character.
- BUT, when they were done speaking, he didn't allow his age to keep him quiet when righteous wisdom and truth were burning within him.
- AND, instead of just spouting what "he" thought, he showed spiritual maturity in giving the glory for true intelligence to the Holy Spirit.
- Wisdom is not a "natural byproduct" of age. Yes, those who are older have lived longer and can speak from experience, but [experience does NOT equal wisdom].
- Many people live through so much but still do not possess the ability to give guidance or advice that is wise because they speak from behind their filters instead of seeking to only say what the Holy Spirit would speak through them.
- One of the Holy Spirit's names is Wisdom. He is extolled in the Proverbs. Without the discernment from and wisdom imputed by the Holy Spirit, we cannot expect to speak wisely.