Job 32-34: The Wisdom of Youth

At the end of Job’s defense, and before God speaks, a young man named Elihu steps into the conversation and rips through everyone. He condemns Job’s friends for their lack of wisdom and Job for his lack of humility. It doesn’t really seem like he wants to be friends with anyone. He also comes across as incredibly arrogant. Which he may be.

Still, there was one thing he says that caught me this morning:

“I am young in years,
and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit in man,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old who are wise,
nor the aged who understand what is right.’
(Job 32:6-10 ESV)

This ironic on two levels: first, he claims wisdom yet goes on to speak in the same foolish manner as the rest of Job’s friends, and second, he’s still right. Wisdom and understanding are given by God to those whom He wills. It is not guaranteed that the older man is the wiser, nor that the younger is more foolish. We have all met wise young people and foolish older people.

When we forget that God is the one who grants understanding, we become foolish. When we assume that we have nothing more to learn, we prove ourselves unlearned. When we ignore wise counsel, we display the depths of our pride. God is totally impartial, giving grace to whom He wills without regard for the age, race, gender, class, or physical ability.

God displayed His wisdom and power to us on the cross, we need only to respond in faith to receive all He intends for us to have.

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