Sunday, May 6, 2018

Year 8, Day 126: Job 32

Theological Commentary: Click Here

In Job 32 we meet Elihu.  Elihu is an interesting perspective in the study of humanity.  Elihu is younger in years than Job or his friends, so he has been silent up until now.  However, while he does wait to speak, he speaks nonetheless.

Elihu speaks because he feels the need to defend his own perception of righteousness.  In this attitude, we can see an issue with youthfulness.  Youth often see the world in black-and-white.  With the youth, there is often only right and wrong.   There is their perspective and then the different other perspectives.  Youths have not learned the skill of compromise.  They have not learned to see the beautiful shades of gray between the contrasting black-and-white poles.

Elihu also feels the impulse to stand up and defend.  He feels the need to be the protector.  He is like the young knight riding off to fight the unconquerable dragon.  Elihu does not understand that wisdom takes time.  He does not realize that often the things we say need time to be absorbed, pondered, and internalized.  Truth is not often recognized in the moment it is spoken.  Truth is recognized after it can be tested and contemplated in the mind.

That being said, we do need to respect what Elihu brings to the conversation.  He brings energy.  He brings passion.  He brings an urgency to the discussion.  These things are not bad things when harnessed correctly.  We should want to take what youth have to offer us and put it to proper use instead of mocking it and discarding it as rash or brazen.  While Elihu is prone to making mistakes because of his youth, he brings qualities that can be shaped and tempered properly.