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. (Job 32:1-22 ESV)
I may be the only person in all of creation to think this, but Elihu is one of my favorite characters in all of the Bible. His style is one in which I have sought to mimic in my own life, but have daily failed miserably. Some notable things about him is that he knows his place. He is younger than all three of Job’s friends and so keeps completely quiet throughout this entire stay with Job. Probably close to two weeks have passed since the friends came to Job and yet Elihu has not spoken until now. And it is not just time that has kept his mouth shut. He believed it was his place (as the youngest) to let the elderly speak first, and so has remained quiet even though he obviously had much bottled up inside to say.
Elihu has not been laying in the sand, passing the time by slinging rocks at angry birds that fly by. He has been alert, listening attentively, and keeping the facts of the arguments lodged in his mind for future use.
He gives glory to God for the wisdom that he has. He says that it is the Spirit (probably the Holy Spirit) of God in man that gives him wisdom and understanding. He does not profess himself to be the source of his wisdom.
Lastly, Elihu does not flatter any person, nor show partiality. He will rebuke, exhort, and destroy the arguments of any who are in the wrong. He knows that God has thus far not been vindicated, and will speak with all of his strength to bring glory back to the Lord of glory. We can learn much from this servant of God.