Job’s youngest friend has waited a long time to speak. He thought he should wait because Job had older and wiser friends. But the older friends had no wisdom to offer. Young Elihu was bursting with wisdom but refrained from speaking it because he didn’t think himself as worthy as the others.
Oh, how many times have I refrained from speaking because I felt myself unworthy of my opinion! Too often I have let the doubts creep in – the who-do-you-think-you-are?s stifle my voice. All the voices that have ever told me I’m not worthy echo in my head, but the most unpleasant and convincing voice is my own.
But what happens when I ignore those naysayers and boldly speak my truth? Suddenly I am empowered by my own opinion, my own voice. I begin to believe in my worth despite what others hear or believe. To speak my truth is a gift God gives that I shall try never to take for granted.
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.
Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered: “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 truly it is the spirit in a mortal, the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding. It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right. Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me; let me also declare my opinion.’
“See, I waited for your words, I listened for your wise sayings, while you searched out what to say. I gave you my attention, but there was in fact no one that confuted Job, no one among you that answered his words. Yet do not say, ‘We have found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not a human.’ He has not directed his words against me, and I will not answer him with your speeches.
“They are dismayed, they answer no more; they have not a word to say. And am I to wait, because they do not speak, because they stand there, and answer no more? I also will give my answer; I also will declare my opinion. For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me. My heart is indeed like wine that has no vent; like new wineskins, it is ready to burst. I must speak, so that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer. I will not show partiality to any person or use flattery toward anyone. For I do not know how to flatter— or my Maker would soon put an end to me!”