Speaking for God
Once again today, humbly ask God to speak to you as you read this passage from his Word.
Read JOB 32:1-22
 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.  But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.  He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.  Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he.  But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.  So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said: “I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.  I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’  But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.  It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.  “Therefore I say: Listen to me; I too will tell you what I know.  I waited while you spoke, I listened to your reasoning; while you were searching for words,  I gave you my full attention. But not one of you has proved Job wrong; none of you has answered his arguments.  Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom; let God, not a man, refute him.’  But Job has not marshaled his words against me, and I will not answer him with your arguments.  “They are dismayed and have no more to say; words have failed them.  Must I wait, now that they are silent, now that they stand there with no reply?  I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.  For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;  inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.  I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.  I will show no partiality, nor will I flatter anyone;  for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was Elihu so eager to talk?
Job’s three friends have given up (1). A young man, Elihu, now makes his appearance. In deference to the older men he has waited to speak (7), but now believes he is speaking the truth through the Holy Spirit, who gives wisdom to all people (8). When we claim to speak in the Spirit, as Elihu does, and where correction is given or implied, then we must be as sure as we can be that we are not repeating our own thoughts, but truly God’s. Unhappily this is not always the case; too many Christians in the past have caused needless unhappiness and guilt by saying they were speaking for God while really expressing what was, in fact, their own opinion. We must always check what we say against the Bible. Words that we think are “from the Spirit” will never contradict Scripture.
Encouraging or kind words spoken in the Spirit can bring comfort, healing and enlightenment. They need not be in a church gathering. A chance remark even from a non-Christian friend can come from God, and any is a real gift!
Who can you encourage today with a word from the Bible, put into your own words, and spoken from your heart?
Lord, may I speak carefully when I claim to speak for You and may my words only help, heal and comfort.
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