Then Elihu son of Barachel, a descendant of Buz and of the family of Ram, flared with anger at Job because he thought he was more righteous than God.
He also got very angry with Job's three friends because they found no answer and yet condemned Job."
Meet Elihu, a young man bold enough to stand up and call Job on his sin. A who man stayed quiet, afraid to say what he knew to be the truth because the other men were older than he.
But let's go back a ways...
Meet Job's friends - Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad. These men heard of the disasters that Job had endured, and came to sympathize with him and to comfort him (a rather crummy job they did, right?). These guys didn't even recognize their friend at first, but when they did, they wept, tore their clothes, threw dirt on their heads, and then they sat with him. For seven whole days, not saying a word.
And then their was Job. The man who went through so much suffering. He lost his kids, his riches, his health. All that was left was a wife who literally told him that he should go die. Before we judge her too harshly, though, remember that she had just lost her whole family. Her emotional pain was just as bad as Job's, maybe even worse.
For seven days they sat with him, and without even an "I'm sorry for your loss..." the argument began. Possibly the most epic argument in history. One man versus three others. Back and forth. "I did no wrong, I am innocent." "Well, obviously not. God wouldn't just do this to an actual righteous man. You must be sinning."
These are the points that they circle around. FOR TWENTY-EIGHT Chapters. Can you imagine someone recording a serious argument between you and your friends, and then writing a book about it? Imagine the stupid things that you might say. All the hurtful things.
Friends, I say all of this to remind you to be like Elihu. Not to be like Job, who thought himself more righteous than God. Not like his three friends, who accused Job of being the cause of his own downfall and condemned him for it even when they could find nothing. Not like Job's wife, who in her own bitterness, was wishing for something that she would come to regret.
We have all been these different people at different times. "I didn't deserve this!" "I'm sorry that happened to that person, but he probably deserved it. That's what happens when you don't live right." "I'm just so tired of this, I can't deal with this anymore. I'm done."
Elihu says is chapter 33:3 "I talk straight from my heart and speak sincerely the knowledge coming from my lips." Do we truly answer people like that? Do we speak from a place of knowledge, or from speculation? Are we going to speak God's word into someone's life. Do you speak God's light into someone's life?
Here's one of my favorite songs, and I think that it's highly applicable to this situation.
Don't speak hurt. Don't speak condemnation. Don't speak despair. Speak life!