Design a site like this with
Get started

The Book of Job: Chapter 32

Chapter 32 in the Book of Job is the beginning of Elihu’s one and only speech. Elihu is the youngest of the men and yet he is the wisest of those gathered together. In this intro, we are reminded that wisdom doesn’t come from us, but from God. We are also reminded that God’s Wisdom isn’t dependent on age but on heart. Elihu is an example in removing ourselves from the discourse in order for God to freely speak through us. I think the effectiveness of Elihu’s speech is apparent in the fact that it’s his only one.

Who are We Justifying?

But Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became indignant. His indignation was kindled and burned and he became upset with Job because he justified himself rather than God [and even expressed doubts about God’s character].

Job 32:2 AMP

The OJB translation says, [Job] justified his nefesh [life] rather than Elohim.

I stand by Job’s wish to be near to God, but Job’s defense in the end wasn’t for God’s work but his own. Job continually listed all he had done “right” but refused to acknowledge what was wrong about it. Job’s self-righteousness blinded him to his real short-comings. It drove him to blame God rather than seek out his own wrong doing.

What can we learn if we are self-righteous? If we begin saying, “See all the good that I have done, all the ways that I have remained righteous,” then we take God out of the equation. It is God who truly makes us righteous, not ourselves or our actions.

We become unteachable when we see ourselves as righteous, not God in us, which prevents us from being humble. If we cannot be humble then we stop being able to humble ourselves before the Lord and we stop seeking His way over our own way. We have to remain humble to remain connected to and in relationship with God.

Whatever we do, good or bad, we cannot justify ourselves over God. I almost would say we cannot justify ourselves at all, but let God justify us. What is our defense, our justification for any action? Let it be God ordained it, not us. God conceived it, not us. When we allow every action to be an extension of God’s will for us, an extension of the partnership we have with Him, then our justification for it is found in God not ourselves. Our righteousness is found in God, not ourselves.

Job followed the Law, but even in doing so he didn’t do it from a place of relationship with God. In the first chapter, he made atoning sacrifices for his children out of fear and worry. He didn’t want God to punish them. It wasn’t God’s love Job was thinking of, it was His wrath.

When Job spoke about helping those in need, immediately after he admitted there were people who he didn’t feel worthy of his help. That decision didn’t come from a God-cultivated heart. By ignoring people and labeling them as less-than, Job was not reflecting God’s heart for people. If he had, Job would’ve helped everyone in a way that was good for them. There would’ve been no one he deemed as lesser because everyone was deserving of his help.

Job wanted to be nearer to God, but he had already taken God’s heart out of the equation of his actions. We cannot be near to God if we do not seek His heart above all else.

Where is Wisdom Found?

Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite said, “I am young, and you are aged […] I though age should speak, and a multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a [vital force and] a spirit [of intelligence] in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding. Those [who are] abundant in years may not [always] be wise, nor may the elders [always] understand justice.

Job 32:7-9 AMP

It is God’s Spirit within us that grants us wisdom, not our age or life experiences.Without God, those things (even those things) are tainted with a fallen view.

How in-tune are we with God? That determines how wise we truly are, not our age or any mortal thing that will pass away.

Paul told Timothy not to let anyone despise his youth, to not let anyone keep him from speaking the Word of God because of his age. (1 Tim. 1:4) God told Jeremiah not to let his young age stop him from speaking and doing what God put within him. (Jer. 1:6-7) Samuel was only a child when God first called to him and spoke. (1 Sam. 3:1-14)

It wasn’t their age that qualified them, it was their heart and their pursuit of God’s heart. The saying is wisdom comes with age, but that’s no always true. True wisdom isn’t found in the paths of earthly life. It’s found on the paths to God’s heart. God doesn’t factor in age, he factors in heart.

From the mouths of infants and nursing babies, You have established a stronghold on account of Your adversaries in order to silence the enemy and the avenger.

Psalms 8:2 CSB

Out of respect of his elders, Elihu first refrained from speaking. However those elders’ words were empty. They had no substantial answer for Job and instead attacked him instead of guiding him to God’s heart. (Job 32:3) Elihu’s anger burned or was kindled, depending on the translation, within him. To me this speaks not of an anger born of feelings, but one born of the Spirit, God’s Spirit. Out of all the arguments spoken to Job, Elihu’s is the only one that came with wisdom from God.

You see, I waited for your words, I listened to your [wise] reasons, while you pondered and searched out what to say. I even paid close attention to [what] you [said], indeed, not one of you convinced Job [nor could you refute him], not one of you supplied [satisfactory] answers to his words. […] Now Job has not directed his words against me [therefore I have no reason to be offended], nor will I answer him with arguments like yours. [I speak for truth, not for revenge.]

Job 32:11-14 AMP

What did the three men really say? What were they really speaking? Their words argued with Job but not one of them used wisdom to answer him. Their arguments came from feelings not sound and even-minded wisdom.

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar spoke to Job many times, but their words brought no light or edification to Job. Elihu remained silent, the last of the men to speak and he only speaks once, yet his words are full of wisdom from God and they help bring light and instruction to Job.

Are our words truly edifying? Or are they mere arguments so that we feel we have had a voice?

There is a reason we are instructed to speak words that are edifying (providing moral or intellectual instruction), otherwise we will end up going around and around without any light or revelation or path to God being made.

Elihu was able to be of sound- and even mind because he knew Job’s argument wasn’t with him, it was with God. When people are looking to justify their actions, their life, or are asking why, their arguments and laments are not with us, they are with God. We as individuals have no part in the discourse apart from being God’s voice.

We cannot be personally offended, the offense is God’s. We cannot be personally angry, the anger belongs to God. We cannot be personally judgmental, God is the judge. There is no part of ourselves that we should input into the argument, except maybe our personal testimony. We go through things to help others through their own trials and hardships, but what helps isn’t our laments, it is the path we took to draw nearer to God. The lessons we learned, the wisdom we gained, as He pulled us closer to Him.

Word of God Speak

The words have moved away and failed them

Job 32:15 AMP

God’s Word, His voice, will never fail. It meets insurmountable obstacles and arguments. It finds reason and truth. It creates paths where paths were not found. It brings peace where no peace was before. God’s Word does the impossible.

Our merely human words cannot do that. When we speak out of a place of flesh, our words will fail us. They are as fleeting as our life while God’s Word remains as eternal as He is.

For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me. My belly is like unvented wine; like new wineskins about to burst. I must speak so that I may get relief; I will open my lips and answer.

Job 32:18-20 AMP

God’s Word will build up like a pressure, it will push to be released. Jeremiah once described it like a fire in my bones. (Jer. 20:9) In the right time it must be spoken. God’s Word cannot be held back. The only relief is to speak them. And they will be no respecter of persons.

I will not [I warn you] be partial to any man [that is, let my respect for you mitigate what I say]; nor flatter any man.

Job 32:21 AMP

God’s Word is not partial to anyone and we cannot show partiality when speaking His Word. We can and should be loving and caring, but we cannot be partial. To do so would be to dilute His Word.

No matter our age, no matter who we are speaking to, we cannot dilute God’s Word. When God speaks through us, let Him speak all the way. Do not suppress His Spirit, His voice, it is life saving.

This was Elihu’s warning to the men around him. He acknowledged his respect for them, but he did not apologize for the truth he was about to speak. We cannot apologize for the truth. We can care for the affect it will have on a person, but we cannot be sorry for speaking it. It is part of our calling.

Jesus spoke the truth to many different people. Sometimes He was harsh. You don’t call someone a hypocrite or a nest of vipers and it not be harsh. Sometimes He was gentle but firm. It all depended on who He was speaking to. But Jesus never apologized for the truth He spoke. He never shied away from it. He never diluted it.

We can respect a person and still be harsh, still be firm in the truth we are speaking. When we take ourselves out of the equation, in the sense of not letting our personal feelings influence how we speak, we allow for God to freely speak as He needs to through us. He knows what the person needs more than we do. We have to trust His guidance and His words over our own thoughts or feelings.

Are We Speaking?

Do we use God’s Wisdom, speaking from a sound and even mind? Or are we speaking from our human feelings?

Have we let age determine how or if we speak? Do we put ourselves in the equation instead of letting God speak through us freely?

Whatever argument we have for not speaking, God has already thought of it and He still chose to speak through us. If that is God’s decision, shouldn’t we let Him speak then?

Let God do the talking, even if it’s through us.

Happy Wednesday!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: