The Book of Job - Speak Wisdom

One of the many television shows I get hooked on every now and then is called Pawn Stars. It’s about a group of guys who own and run a pawn shop in Las Vegas. It’s interesting to see the various items that people bring into the shop to pawn or sell for some cash.

I’m also amazed at how much the guys at the pawn shop know about stuff. People bring in sports memorabilia, military items, cars and planes, old photographs and so much more. Most of the time, the guys at this pawn shop know its value and know what they’re willing to pay for it so they can make some money off it. Sometimes, they call in an expert of a certain field for additional information on an unusual item. But those are rare occasions. They just have a wide knowledge about stuff! (At least that’s how it’s portrayed on the show!)

Our devotional reading for this week (Job 32-37) takes us to a man named Elihu, who felt he had some knowledge and wisdom to pass on to Job. He was very discouraged with the discussion between Job and his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar) that we finished last week.

When Elihu first speaks, Job feels righteous in his own eyes (Job 32:1). Elihu becomes angry with Job (as well as his friends) and tells Job he has no right to question God. The heart of his message is found in these words, “But I tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than man. Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man’s words? (33:12,13)… Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?” (37: 14, 15)

His message to Job is strong and consistent. He points out some truths of God – that God is good and just. However, he fails to mention God’s love. So what can we take away from this discourse from Elihu?

We learn early in chapter 32 that Elihu had waited to speak (32:4). We also learn that Elihu was younger than Job and his friends. Consider these words straight from Elihu, “I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know. I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom’ (32:6,7)… It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right. Therefore I say: Listen to me; I too will tell you what I know” (32:9,10).

At first, Elihu waited to hear from the “wiser” men. However, he was disheartened by their message. At that point, he felt the need to speak up.

But he spoke without love. He gave Job a religious lecture rather than the truth in love. He needed to get his message off his chest, “For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me; inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst. I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply” (32:18-20).

So what’s the application for us Christians?

Just think – we do have the ultimate knowledge and wisdom. We know of sin and grace. We know of our forgiveness and redemption through Jesus. As Timothy writes in his epistle, “and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

So we should speak up! We should share our wisdom and knowledge!

But unlike Elihu, we must not give a religious lecture. We must always speak the truth in love. As Peter writes, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

You do have ultimate knowledge and wisdom! You know Jesus died for your sins and for the sins of the entire world! And there are so many people who don’t know that – who don’t know Jesus as their Savior. They need that knowledge. They need that wisdom. What an awesome opportunity that God gives to us Christians to share His message! Be ready to share that message with a loving heart.

I wish I had more knowledge about stuff. It would be cool to have so much knowledge about so many different things like the guys at the pawn shop. Maybe you wish that too. Or maybe you are blessed with a vast amount of knowledge.

But just remember that the earthly knowledge won’t matter, ultimately. The spiritual knowledge does.

So treasure that. And speak up with a loving heart! You are wise!

Share the message of God’s love with love and watch God’s Word work.

Lord’s blessings on the rest of your week,

Daniel Kock