How To Speak Up When You Are Fired Up
Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.— Job 32:2-5
So as we come close to the end of the story, we discover someone else present. There was a younger man — Elihu. And we see that he is brewing to speak and that he is pretty angry about a couple of things. First, that Job justified his righteousness to these men. And while Job was right that he had done nothing wrong to deserve the suffering, Elihu determines Job's response was overly focused on his righteousness instead of God's righteousness. Second, he is pretty angry that Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have come up with no answer. In the end, both parties have elevated themselves a little too much. And Elihu's anger is justified, and his assessment is spot on.
And what I love here is that Elihu is respectful in how he handles himself, even in his anger. The text says he "waited to speak to Job because they were older than he."
For some reason, it appears we have lost touch with this kind of respect. But this is more than just patriarchal respect for elders. This is respect combined with extraordinary restraint when an injustice has been done to the sovereignty of God. Elihu has just listened to four men bloviate about their views on God, suffering, sin, retribution, righteousness, unrighteousness, punishment, blessing, and repentance. And I am sure the whole time Elihu's been slowly boiling. As he listens, he might even hope that they would come to some godly conclusion on the matter. But they drift from a conclusion to no conclusion. After they are finally silent and have run out of things to say — then Elihu speaks. And in the verses that follow, we are going to hear some great insights from a fired-up young man who is deeply passionate about a very high view of God. And the best part is — we are going to learn all of them from a younger man. But I think this one line, "Elihu waited to speak to Job because they were older than he," makes everything that he's about to say easier to hear.
Are you fired up about an injustice to God? There is a lot to be fired up about today. If so, be respectful, use restraint, and speak up when the time is right, and God may use you to say something rememberable.
ASK THIS: What injustice do you need to speak about? (Share this in the comments below)
DO THIS: Be respectful and use restraint — and then speak up for God, not yourself.
PRAY THIS: God, help me to know what to say and how to say it.
PLAY THIS: Speak.
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