BURSTING WITH PASSION
Transforming Lord, when my life is turbulent, bring creation from chaos, joy from sorrow, love from hate, and hope from despair.
Read JOB 32
32 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.[a] 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.
6 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.
7 I thought, ‘Age should speak;
advanced years should teach wisdom.’
8 But it is the spirit[b] in a person,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 It is not only the old[c] who are wise,
not only the aged who understand what is right.
10 “Therefore I say: Listen to me;
I too will tell you what I know.
11 I waited while you spoke,
I listened to your reasoning;
while you were searching for words,
12 I gave you my full attention.
But not one of you has proved Job wrong;
none of you has answered his arguments.
13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
let God, not a man, refute him.’
14 But Job has not marshaled his words against me,
and I will not answer him with your arguments.
15 “They are dismayed and have no more to say;
words have failed them.
16 Must I wait, now that they are silent,
now that they stand there with no reply?
17 I too will have my say;
I too will tell what I know.
18 For I am full of words,
and the spirit within me compels me;
19 inside I am like bottled-up wine,
like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak and find relief;
I must open my lips and reply.
21 I will show no partiality,
nor will I flatter anyone;
22 for if I were skilled in flattery,
my Maker would soon take me away.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘God who speaks. The earth came alive at the sound of your voice. Would you speak to me and make me come alive?’1
Enter a young man with passion. Elihu was not one of the three close friends who were sitting with Job on the ground,2 but it appears that he was listening to their debate. Younger ears may always be listening on the sidelines, especially in our homes. Careless or harsh words spoken at the dining table may well have an impact on developing minds. This young man is remarkable, even if his arguments bring more heat than light to the situation.3 Interestingly, God does not include Elihu in the rebuke that Job’s friends receive at the end of the book.4
Elihu has strong opinions, describing himself as ‘full of words’ and ‘ready to burst’ (vs 18,19). Young people often do, and the church has sometimes been guilty of ignoring them. Are we right to do that, when we remember how Jesus took a little child, setting him at the center of the disciples’ group, saying ‘See that you do not despise one of these little ones’?5 In the prophecy of Joel, we discover that when the Holy Spirit is outpoured, both young and older folk will be involved.6 When we consider that Jesus himself was confounding the temple elders at just twelve years of age, perhaps we need to be more expectant that God can use young people alongside the more mature to speak for him now. They are not just the church of tomorrow, but an important part of the church of today.
Elihu felt that the Holy Spirit was speaking to him. He was bursting to pass that on. We may not approve of his anger, or even like his conceit, but he found relief in speaking (v 20) and his words became part of God’s plan for Job. His passion speaks to us today too.
Read Acts 2:1–4 and consider how young most of the people present would have been. Ask God to renew your passion for him and his Word.
Lord, I need you to help smooth out the high places of self- importance and the valleys of depression in me. King Jesus, I invite you again today to be my sovereign.
1 Taken from the Lectio 365 app, September 11, 2020 2 Job 2:11–13 3 Job 33–37 4 Job 42:7 5 Matt 18:10 6 Joel 2:28,29
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