1 Timothy 4:11-12 “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
I am reminded this morning of the young friend of Job named Elihu. He listened with attentive ears to the elder gentlemen who came with him. They were older and Elihu believed that they would have the words of wisdom to make a just case against Job. They did no such thing. After all the mouths were closed, Elihu opened his mouth and set all the elder gentlemen an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Job 32:1 – 33:5
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 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.
And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:
“I am young in years,
and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom. ’
But it is the spirit in man,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old who are wise,
nor the aged who understand what is right.
Therefore I say, ‘ Listen to me;
let me also declare my opinion. ’
“Behold, I waited for your words,
I listened for your wise sayings,
while you searched out what to say.
I gave you my attention,
and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
or who answered his words.
Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
God may vanquish him, not a man. ’
He has not directed his words against me,
and I will not answer him with your speeches.
“They are dismayed; they answer no more;
they have not a word to say.
And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
because they stand there, and answer no more?
I also will answer with my share;
I also will declare my opinion.
For I am full of words;
the spirit within me constrains me.
Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
I will not show partiality to any man
or use flattery toward any person.
For I do not know how to flatter,
else my Maker would soon take me away.
“ But now, hear my speech, O Job,
and listen to all my words.
Behold, I open my mouth;
the tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me, if you can;
set your words in order before me; take your stand.