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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1 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”