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Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 32

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Chapter 32

So sitting nearby was a young man whose name was Elihu.

So these three men [Bildad, Zophar, and Eliphaz] cease to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu against Job and his wrath was kindled, because he justified himself rather than God ( Job 32:1-2 ).

Now Job, in all of his complaints, was saying, "I am just in this. I am innocent." And he was justifying himself rather than God. Now, we oftentimes do this. It is important, though, that we justify God. I know that God is good. I know that God is righteous. I know that God is fair. I don't understand why God is doing this. You see, Job did not justify God in the issues by declaring, "Well, God is fair." He was actually saying, "God is unfair. He is unfair to me because I haven't done anything to deserve all of this." So Elihu, standing by, really became angry with Job because he sought to justify himself rather than to justify God. And he was also angry with Job's friends because they could not answer Job. They couldn't really pin anything on him, and yet, they were condemning him without being able to pin anything directly on him.

So he waited until Job had spoken, because they were older than he was. And when he saw that they were not answering, his wrath was kindled. And he said, I am young, and you're very old; wherefore I was afraid, and I dared not to show you my own opinion. I said, Days should speak, and the multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding. And great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment ( Job 32:4-9 ).

So far you're batting a thousand, Elihu. He's made some interesting observations. There is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding. He could see the anointing of God upon a man to give to the man wisdom and understanding. But great men are not always wise. Now you don't have to go very far to illustrate that truth. "And neither do the aged always understand judgment."

Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I'm going to show you my opinion ( Job 32:10 ).

And he spends a lot of time just telling us what he's going to say. He doesn't really say too much, but he spends a lot of time telling you what he's going to say.

"Hearken to my opinion."

Behold, I waited for your words; to give ear to your reasons, while you searched out what to say. Yes, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words: Lest you should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrust him down, not man. Now he hath not directed his words against me: and neither will I answer him with your speeches. They were amazed, and they answered no more: they left off speaking. When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more,) I said, I will answer also my part; I will show you my opinion. For I am full of the matter, the spirit within me is forcing me. Behold, my belly is as wine which has no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person; neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away ( Job 32:11-22 ).

Oh, I like this. God help me not to give flattering titles unto man. I heard flattering titles for so many years; I'm absolutely sick of flattering titles. "Ladies and gentlemen, let me present unto you, God's man for the hour," you know. And all of these flattering things that we say concerning man. He said, "Hey, I respect you fellows' age, but I don't respect man as such as far as bowing and catering and giving flattering titles and buttering up people, trying to butter them up with flattering titles. If I'm guilty of this then God's going to take me away, take my place away." My heart has been sickened by the way we have sought to elevate men even in the Christian community by flattering titles, declaring the greatness of their works and all. God help us. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 32". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-32.html. 2014.
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