I found myself laughing out loud today as I read these chapters in God’s Word. And every time I have that experience, it’s because I see myself in what I read. And usually, not in a good way.
I don’t know how much younger Elihu was than Job and his buddies. But is seems there were more than a few years between them because Elihu sat with them for some time without speaking, out of respect for his elders.
Now, I’m projecting here but I imagine Elihu was a typical young person. I see him rolling his eyes, shaking his head, snickering under his breath at what he perceived as ignorance in the older generation. After all, Elihu was woke. So when he got his chance, he would teach those old geezers the wisdom of youth.
“Pay attention,” he says. “I’m going to open my mouth and tell you where you are wrong.”
He then proceeds to prove he has no more understanding than the others. If you read his sermon, you’ll see him refer to himself about as often as he refers to God. Elihu isn’t hesitant about pointing out his knowledge and wisdom.
Oh, there are several times Elihu gives God a nod for giving him knowledge, and for having superior knowledge. But I see a lot of young Elihu in these chapters.
Now, before anyone thinks I am targeting millennials, let me confess I remember being young, too. I remember rolling my eyes at the things my dad would say. I mean, I’d gone to college and he didn’t. I was enlightened and he wasn’t (or so I thought).
Trust me when I say this, kids. One day you are going to be faced with the realization that you aren’t as stupid as your kids will think you are, either.
I don’t think this portion of Scripture has to be only about youth versus age. There’s a little Elihu in all of us. And it’s a sin. It was a sin when Adam and Eve thought they understood God apart from His Word, and it’s a sin today. There is no wisdom, no understanding that isn’t written in the pages of the Bible.
Now here is where I laughed out loud today. Elihu’s final words are found in verse 37:24b and they are hilarious.
(God) does not look favorably on any who are wise in heart.
Except, of course, me. Right?
Dear Elihu is condemning the very thing he himself is guilty of. But I don’t think he sees it like that. He thinks he’s pointing a finger at Job and his friends, not considering there are three fingers pointed back at him.
I hope you have knowledge of Scripture. I hope you study your Bible, memorize verses, can share the accounts of people who lived during that time. I hope you have an understanding of who God is and what His plan is according to the Words He inspired men to write down. I hope you have wisdom from above.
But let’s not think, even for a second, that any of that is our own doing. Let’s not put ourselves anywhere near the level of God. I don’t care how old you are, or how young.
It’s about God. Whatever your age.