每日诗歌: Shout to the Lord (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn5CMSSAx_c)
Job 33 [Read]
Job 34 [Read]
Acts 13:24-52 [Read]
The appearance of Elihu, whose name means “he is my God” in Hebrew, is perplexing to many readers including me. He came out of nowhere, and he seemed to disappear after delivering his speech. But his presence does shed some interesting light onto the whole ordeal of Job.
Elihu was a young man (32:4). We don’t know whether he was Job’s friend or simply a bystander in the whole episode. One thing for sure, he was an angry young man. On the one hand, he was angry at Job for being self-righteous (32:2). On the other hand, he was angry with Job’s three friends for not being able to defend God in a convincing way (32:3). He politely waited for his term (32:10), and then he unleashed his emotion (32:18-22). Elihu reminded me about myself many years ago when I became a Christian and joined a church. I was young and polite, and I observed older people serving the church with skepticism. Underneath the superficial politeness, I, as a young man, was actually accumulating frustration due to my arrogance. My unchecked zeal and remained worldly views kept the needed humility and compassion from me. All I could see was “it is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right” (32:9). Elihu makes me blush.
But did Elihu have a point to make? Most commentators agree that he really did not provide any earth-shattering view to explain Job’s suffering. When he was given the stage and ears, he did not deliver in a convincing way. However, he was given 6 chapters to speak basically without interruption. Most amazingly, he was not included with Job’s three friends who had to sacrifice burnt offering for their speeches at the end (42:9). Apparently, God saw something precious beyond the arrogance of youth in Elihu. But what was it?
I believe it’s his passion. While Job and his friends argued about what caused his suffering, Elihu was passionate about God. “The spirit within me compels me” (32:18); “The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the almighty gives me life” (33:4); “God is greater than man” (33:12); “Far be it for God to do evil, from the almighty to do wrong” (34:10). He might be an arrogant young man, but his passion towards God was genuine. Gray hair may be a crown of splendor, but a life without passion for God cannot be righteous in my view (Prov 16:31). Maybe there IS something to learn from Elihu after all.
Keep on reading,