|Great men are not always wise:|
Elihu prepares his speechElihu’s reaction to the other speeches
v1 So, these three men did not continue to answer Job. They saw that Job did not consider himself guilty.
v2 Then, Elihu became angry. Elihu was the son of Barakel, who belonged to the people called Buzites. He belonged to the family of Ram. (This is why Elihu was angry:)
· Job had said that Job himself was right, rather than God. So, Elihu was angry with Job.
· v3 And Elihu was also angry with the three friends. They had no reply. But they still said that Job was an evil man.
v4 Elihu waited until Job finished his speech. Elihu waited because the other men were older than Elihu. v5 But Elihu realised that the three men could not answer Job. Then, Elihu was angry.
Job had finished his speech. And his friends were silent. But a young man called Elihu wanted to speak.
Elihu’s main idea was that God is fair. Job’s other friends said that they believed this. But they themselves were unfair to Job. However, Job was not always sure that God is fair.
In the Book of Job, Elihu acts like this lawyer. It is as if Elihu arranged for Job to meet God. Elihu was just an ordinary young man (Job 33:6). But his words were special because he spoke by the Holy Spirit (Job 32:8; Job 36:4).
Job protested that he was innocent.
We do not need to prove that we are right.
Instead, we should trust God.
God is a fair judge.
And in the end, God will give to each person whatever that person deserves.
The three friends blamed Job for his own troubles. They were being cruel to Job. They had no evidence. But they still accused Job.
Elihu was polite. He respected the older men. He did not interrupt them.
Elihu thought that the other men should be wise
v6 So, Elihu (son of Barakel, who belonged to the people called Buzites) spoke. He said:
I am young. You are old. So, I was afraid to tell you what I know. v7 I thought that an old man would be wiser than me. I thought that you would teach wisely because of your age.
v8 But God gives men wisdom by his Holy Spirit. v9 Great men are not always wise. And old men do not always know what is right.
v10 So, I will speak. Listen to me! I shall tell you what I know.
v11 I waited while you spoke. I listened to your speeches, while you tried to say the right words. v12 I listened carefully. But you did not prove that Job is wrong. You could not answer his words.
v13 Do not say, ‘We are wise!’ Do not say, ‘God, not man, will prove that Job is wrong!’
v14 But Job has not accused me. And I will not answer him with your words.
Older people are usually wiser than young people. Older people have learned many valuable lessons in their long lives.
But there is a difference between human wisdom and God’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-19; 1 Corinthians 1:27).
Elihu spoke like a lawyer. He had listened to the other speeches. He saw that they had no evidence to accuse Job. He believed that Job’s speeches were better than theirs.
Elihu’s thoughts about his speech
v15 Now, the three friends are unhappy. They have no answers. So, they are silent. v16 But I cannot wait while they are silent. They stand there. And they have no reply. v17 So, I myself will answer. I will speak my opinion.
v18 I have so many words to speak. The Spirit forces me to speak. v19 I need to speak. Otherwise, I feel as if I would burst! v20 So, I must speak. I need to answer.
v21 I will be fair with everybody. And I will not speak well about anyone unless my words are true. v22 God would punish me for such evil behaviour. And I would soon die.
In Job 2:13, the three friends were silent because Job’s words upset them. But now they had argued with Job. And so nobody wanted to speak, except Elihu. He had waited patiently during their long speeches. And he was desperate to speak.
In the Bible, many holy men are called prophets.
These men did not merely speak their own ideas.
Rather, they spoke by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
They described their experience in different ways. Sometimes the Spirit felt like a wind that was blowing through them (John 3:8).
In fact, in the original languages of the Bible, the words ‘wind’ and ‘spirit’ are the same.
Elihu spoke like a lawyer. He promised to be fair to everyone. And God was not merely Job’s judge. God was Elihu’s judge too.