Daily Devotional Monday 20th September 2021

by William Moody

Job 32

Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends

32:1 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 old1 who are wise,
    nor the aged who understand what is right.
10   Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’
11   “Behold, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12   I gave you my attention,
    and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
    or who answered his words.
13   Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
14   He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.
15   “They are dismayed; they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
16   And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17   I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare my opinion.
18   For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
19   Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20   I must speak, that I may find relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
21   I will not show partiality to any man
    or use flattery toward any person.
22   For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.


[1] 32:9 Hebrew many [in years]


We’re introduced to a new person now called Elihu and the next six chapters contain his speech. He is younger that Job’s other three friends and out of respect for his older companions he has listened in silence until now.

Commentators have had very differing views on Elihu, some more positive towards him than others. He certainly doesn’t lack confidence and he uses the word ‘I’ on 19 occasions in this chapter.

Elihu initially speaks of his burning anger towards Job for justifying himself rather than God (v2) and also anger towards his friends for not answering Job well enough (v3). Speaking with anger is dangerous and can open the door to many sins.

Elihu, in a criticism of his older friends, speaks of how wisdom depends not on age but the breath of God (v7-9). It is important that we rely for wisdom not on our own thinking and experience but on God’s Spirit teaching us from His Word. One of the most important qualities for gaining wisdom is humility.

Elihu has been moved to speak as his older friends have stopped (v15-16); He speaks of being full of words that just have to burst out (v17-20).

It is important that we’re not full of ourselves, that we’re full of God’s truth and humble with it.

Elihu finally speaks of approaching this situation with impartiality and without flattery (v21-22). We always need to seek clarity and fairness.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.