Verse 9 It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.
Most of us are taught from a very early age how we need to respect those who are older than we are and let their experience challenge us as they share their wisdom. One thing this young friend of Job was learning was how wisdom doesn’t come naturally with age. Grey hair is not the result of stored up knowledge to be shared.
Elihu couldn’t believe what he had been hearing these older men saying. How could they question God like they were? And who did Job think he was, justifying himself instead of God? These men should have known better, shouldn’t they? Though Job wasn’t an Israelite, he was a God-fearing man. He even had done priest-like duties for his children by offering sacrifices for them after their parties just in case they sinned somehow in their fun. Job understood, at least in practice, how God is in control and how He is a merciful God, Job just seemed a bit confused about how God can work in our lives.
The other three friends had not refuted Job with his questions about God but neither had they condemned him. They didn’t know what to say to their friend who had lost so much. How could they give him wisdom when they didn’t understand what was going on or have an understanding of God? Enter Elihu.
Elihu had the understanding that wisdom came with age and yet he recognized where wisdom was lacking. He tried to be the “good” young man, not speaking up to his elders but he had had enough! These men needed to know who God is and it seemed he was the only one who could help them see the truth and so he started his rebuke of the 4 older men.
The young man boldly pointed out how only the Lord can give true understanding. Wisdom isn’t given freely to all but to those who seek the Lord and listen to His promptings, therefore wisdom can be found in old and young alike. It can be hard to accept wisdom from young people as we don’t often respect them enough to listen. Paul knew Timothy would face this and reminded him not to let others look down on him because of his age but to be an example for others in the way of the Lord (1 Timothy 4:12). We need to remember this too, maybe we need to listen to those younger or maybe we need to remember not to be afraid to respectfully stand for truth even to those who are older than we are.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been discounted because of your age? Have you ever second guessed someone else because of their age? Who do you need to listen to today?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever had someone treat you like you don’t know anything because you are a kid? How did that make you feel? How can you tell someone something without disrespecting them?
Father, thank You for this reminder that You are not just the God of the aged but You call people of all ages to follow You and speak truth in Your name. Give us the wisdom You want us to share with those around us and help us learn to accept Your wisdom from others. In Jesus’ name, amen.