Good Morning Siblings!
Today’s readings are Job 32-34
Today we see a new person, Elihu, come on the scene and it appears he has been there all along, remaining silent. The text tells us that he is much younger than all the others so perhaps that is why he was not mentioned among the respected men of advanced age. He has been remaining silent but he is about to make up for lost time!
We are given his lineage but not that of the other friends. Many believe that this is a tool to make sure we know this is not a fictitious character but an actual person. This is important because he just appears out of nowhere (no previous mention of him) and he will disappear just as quickly. As a result, over the years some have accused this person of being inserted into the story later. I’ve even heard one theory that Elihu was actually Messiah but when you read and see how much knowledge he is lacking in with regards to the true happenings, I find this to be highly unlikely – at best.
While we do not know his age we do know that he is apparently significantly younger than the others. Those of us who have raised teenage boys will likely shake our head and get a chuckle or two out of his boldness in addressing his elders and his confidence in his own judgement.
So know going into this that I can’t help but imagine Elihu as a teenage boy who thinks he knows everything. While he is clearly a well thought young man, I think his arrogance trips him up and he falls into a faulty thought pattern. So often in a situation we choose between two options given to us, our default believing that those are the only two options. When, in reality, there are often more options and therefore more opportunities beyond what is presented at surface level.
You see, in Job 32:1 we read that Job’s friends gave up on him essentially, they quit talking because they saw that Job was righteous in his own eyes. The Hebrew word for righteous in this case is tsaddiq and one of the ways it is used is to describe a person who is just and righteous in conduct and in character, according to Biblehub.com. Another descriptor is a lawful person.
Job knew he was a law abiding citizen in the kingdom of YHWH. However, his friends assumed he had done something wrong and that is the reason why all of this was happening to him, because YHWH is a just God.
Elihu fell into the same pattern of thinking of the rest of Job’s friends. We know that YHWH is right and just, and so they assumed that Job was neither right nor just due to all of the tragedies that had befallen him. However, we as the reader see that both Job AND YHWH were in the right. (YHWH always is, of course). Job’s friends just didn’t have the imagination to consider this possibility.
Remember: We do not see all that YHWH is doing in our lives. We must realize that we also do not see what YHWH is doing in the lives of others, either.
?Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. Job 32:9 (kjv)
This one always hits me in the gut. I remember the exact moment I realized one of my grandparents wasn’t perfect. I’ll never forget it. Not being perfect didn’t make them any less wonderful, but it was an awakening for someone who had put them up on a pedestal of being able to do no wrong in all things. I hope and pray we will always honor our seniors but this sentence is a stark reminder that just because someone is esteemed by the world or far older than us does not mean they are without fault or have perfect judgement.
Sidenote: I heard a statement this past week that really had an impact on me and I wanted to share it.
We don’t take our sin seriously enough.
In the era of prosperity gospel, cheap grace (grace that allows us to live however we want with only applause as response), and ear tickling, we’ve been taught to toss our sin aside when we walk in the door, like an old pair of shoes we don’t want to wear for the moment. Then, when it is time to leave our fellowships or churches we casually slip those old shoes on again as we walk out the door – as if YHWH doesn’t see us doing it.
We like ’em. They’re comfy. They fit our life. Our sins are much the same way.
We take our sins too lightly. When we are told that our sins are forgiven thanks to Messiah, we should say “My past sins are forgiven! I will now live as a changed man/woman!”. Instead, we use Messiah’s covering as a license to do whatever we want with no thought to the consequences. We offer up flimsy excuses such as “We can’t possibly NOT sin” as our reason to keep full boar ahead, willfully sinning in our comfy old shoes fashion. I’ve even heard, and this has been said with all seriousness by more than one person on more than one occasion “If we don’t sin then Jesus died for nothing.”
People actually say this. People actually mean this. This is how twisted things are.
We’ll do anything to keep us in those comfy shoes. Even if it means defaming our Messiah.
We don’t realize that sin is a direct offense against YHWH. Further, it separates us from Him because, when we choose to sin, we are choosing to walk away from the Father’s path.
It is a defiance, a disrespect, and a transgression against the Father who lovingly created our inmost being and knit us together in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) We don’t hold our Creator in reverence and we treat our sin flippantly.
We don’t take our sin seriously enough.
We don’t take our Father seriously enough.
Job took sin seriously, he revered YHWH as his God, and that is why he had the assurance that he did.
Elihu continues on in our reading today but we are in a unique position to grasp that he is lacking in understanding of the true situation just as the rest of Job’s friends and Job himself.
May we learn not to lean on our own understanding, may we take our sin more seriously, and may we praise His name for making His ways and His understanding so readily available to us through His word.
What a mighty God we serve!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
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