Young people are precious, especially ones who think they know it all. I felt a little like Job probably did as Elihu was speaking his youthful wisdom during a recent meeting at work. Honestly, it felt like the young vs. the old, and I’m sure there was some eye rolling going on from us old folks as the young folks sat about hashing out things we learned a long time ago. However, in there hashing, we learned several new things, or at least I did, and it made me humbly realize that it’s always a good idea to listen to young people. They bring such unique perspectives, and while some of their thoughts and ideas are sometimes naive, they also see things differently than us old people, and that’s a wonderful thing. Elihu’s words are no different. While he does say some boneheaded stuff like, “Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!”, he also wanes out some soul-touching points. I have to type out verses 14 and 15 because I just think it shows so much incite on young Elihu’s part.
“For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, as they lie in their beds.”
Isn’t it just gorgeous to see the young person telling the old person that God speaks in dreams and visions? It’s almost like a reminder that it’s never too late “to dream,” so to speak.
Then, check out verses 23 and 24:
“But if an angel from heaven appears – a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright – he will be gracious and say, ‘Rescue him from the grave, for I have found a ransom for his life.’”
Not one of Job’s older friends mentioned Job’s reference to a “mediator,” but this young man picked up on it, and while he still thinks Job should repent of a sin he thinks he is hiding, he also recognizes the very hope to whom Job alluded in past chapters. His words are super profound for a young guy, and I believe he truly is speaking from his heart. Yes, it’s a heart of partial misunderstanding, but it is a sincere heart.
“Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified,” he says in verse 32. I can feel the empathy in his words. Can you?
Writing prompt: get it off your chest
Have you ever been around someone who you KNOW is suffering but refuses to talk about it? Have you ever been in a situation where a person who has been holding something in finally confides in you and receives a huge measure of relief? Sometimes just saying things out loud to someone oddly heals us almost immediately. Elihu was aware of the power of this kind of release, even at his young age. Write about an experience you’ve had with getting something off your chest.