Daily D – Job 32:1-5
Job 32:1-5 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. 3 He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him. 4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 32:1–5.
Three righteous men declared another righteous man unrighteous. He did not agree with the other three. Speeches were made. Ideas were bandied about. Declarations were pronounced. The end of the matter was no different than its beginning. Entrenched friends risked their relationships on their interpretations of one man’s situation.
Turn back to chapter 2. Take a look at the three friends’ agreement and intention. They left their homes to sit with their friend who had lost everything. They sympathized with him. They comforted him. They wept with him. No one said anything for a full week.
Those were the good old days.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 2:11–13.
Sympathy and comfort soon turned into questioning. Questioning turned into accusation. Accusation led to disagreement. Sides were chosen. Evidence was presented. Speeches were made. Finally, everyone got tired of talking. No one was willing to change.
Entrenched disagreement created an opportunity for one more mouth full of words. Elihu was angry.
Anger fuels speeches designed to set everyone straight. Please pardon me, but I am not all that interested in angry outbursts. I am not all that interested in a self-haloed harangue. I am not all that interested in being beaten into submission.
Truth stands the test of time. Truth sets us free. Truth does not require a hammer. Truth spoken in love proves itself in due course.
Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Wrong questions produce wrong answers. The right question was, “Who is truth?”
Job, his three friends, and the young man who was wiser than wise in his own eyes, were about to experience a surprise. Truth was about to speak. Truth was about to ask the questions. Truth was about to seek the proper conclusions. Truth was about to rule.
One lesson learned from Job’s book is how inquiry is best served by honest questions rather than by determined accusations.
Another lesson is how God is worth waiting for when we cannot find the right way to conclude our own confusing episodes.
Good questions get us thinking. Hearing God sets us moving in the right direction. Going with him removes the drive to be heard, to be right, and to have it our way. There is a better way, truth, and life than any of our arguments or philosophies can design.
Living with mystery in the presence of God is far superior to living in certainty with my own best guess.
I will embrace God’s silence before I trust to my own wisdom.
Our Father, I will let my words be few. I want to hear from you. I will not move in any way until I hear what you have to say. Amen.
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Ezra 8:31, 32 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.
Esther 6:1, 2 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”