“What an impetuous young man! How dare him open his mouth in the presence of such an enlightened, well learned and well indoctrinated assembly, men of old,men of wisdom, knowledge,understanding and years?
“Disgraceful… children are to be seen and not heard; especially this generation of youths with their modern dressing and worldly mannerisms “. Neither Job nor his so-called friends were on the record for uttering these sharp remarks, but they may well have thought them.
What stands behind this kind of reasoning? In this case the question might be stated in terms of who rather than what . Who caused the chafing of these men’s minds, what did he say ,why did his words evoke such a negative response.
Elihu,the somewhat infamous young man referred to above ,is one of my favorite bible characters.His words were truer than those of men possessing more experience and wisdom than his youth would normally produce, and his way was apparently inspired by the Almighty God.
Job maintained his position of uprightness in heart and conduct throughout his suffering, but his friends felt that he could not have been rewarded such misery and shame for all his righteousness.
Elihu did not condemn Job as Eliphaz ,Bildad,and Zophar did, but he waited patiently to speak on Job’s behalf,unlike Elihu, Job’s so-called friends felt that he was an accomplished self righteousness hypocrite, but they couldn’t prove their conclusion. Elihu wisely weighed all the evidence before he came to a conclusion and endeavored to speak the complete truth in an effort to relieve Job.
In those days the aged men were respected for the abundance of their wisdom and sobriety. Young people were doing quite well to enter into the company of these ancient men as they commune with one another. Certainly there was never before an occasion for a young man to admonish his elders as Elihu did no matter how moved by passion he may have been. Yet those men of statute sat in silence as Elihu upbraided them for the hardness of their hearts. Why?
Elihu waited patiently to speak and boldly used sound speech which could not be condemned. The young man made his point decently and in an orderly manner even though he was probably under great duress as the scene would seem to indicate.
There is a divine beauty in holding one’s peace and then speaking with the authority which only God’s Spirit can produce .Elihu claimed to be led by the Spirit of God and so did our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
One writer stated that the answers to God’s words are ” yea” and “amen” and again another writer said that he who has the last say has won the argument.
Elihu’s elders had no more to say to him when they had considered his words. On the other hand,the men whom Jesus Christ addressed took up stones to slay Him with. They could not intelligently contend with the wisdom of Jesus Christ so they reverted to show a low base of brute force.
No wonder the Bible says”….I have written unto you,young men because ye are strong,and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one ” (1 John 2:14).
If Elihu were speaking of himself, he would have been made to sit down in silence by those far more experienced than he,but the word of God apparently dwelt in him richly. Elihu had apparently overcome pride which many youths are taken with today; therefore it could be truthfully said that he had overcome the condemnation of the wicked one.
Pride does not produce sound speech, it makes contention. Pride speaks out of turn and puts down rather than exhorting. Pride can easily be answered,but those who are are snared by Pride usually cannot hear the reproof.
Elihu’s speech ,which has stood the test of time, was recorded for our edification today. We can see from this account that the good which we say will live long after we are departed from this world, but sadly enough,so will the evil. God did not include Elihu in the rebuke which He meted out to Eliphaz,Bildad and Zophar. Apparently this was because the young man’s words, like Job’s, were acceptable in His sight.
There was another young man in Bible times who had occasion to upbraid his elders. One account maybe found in the book of St. John and the eighth chapter.
The man Jesus Christ was quite an unspoken young man at times delivering many hard sayings to men much His senior. Yet Jesus Christ did not stagger at their attempts to discredit him as being reprobate. He stood upon sound words and doctrine which could not logically be refuted.
Elihu was blameless much like our Lord Jesus Christ, but we do not see Elihu’s end. Did he go on to become a great ruler or state man or did he lead a quite family life and raising children who were as well mannered and intelligent as he? And what became of Jesus Christ, that young man from Galilee? Did he really rise from His grave and ascend into Heaven as the Scriptures says? Will He truly return to judge this world as He said?
We have not see either of the two young men mentioned above ,but we have record of the words they spoke. Words spoken by young people which have stood the test of time. The wise bear witness to the veracity of the words of these two wonderful young men, but the foolish will forever doubt .
What about today’s youth? Should we listen to what they have to say? We can not afford to ignore them. Even if what they say is not what we want to hear,we owe it to ourselves to LISTEN. Today’s youth will be in our stead sooner than we think.If we do not give careful ears to their concerns we could find ourselves in the same boat as Job’s so-called friends were in.
The wise will bear witness to the veracity of the words of today’s youth and will endeavor to mold their lives in such away ,that the folly of youth will give way to complete victory in Christ. Young people that are led by the Spirit of God should be listened to ,and even the ones that are wayward should be given an ear and not totally ignored. If we want to win today’s youth we must give BOTH ears to them. Let us be more willing to hear than speak. Let’s not offer the sacrifice of the foolish. Love covers a multitude of sins .Let us not only love in word,but also indeed. Blessings!