Old and Wise

“It is not the old who are wise nor the aged who understand what is right.”
Job 32:9

When I was in high school, back in the early 1980’s, there was a song by the music group The Alan Parson’s Project called “Old and Wise.”

Written in a melancholy key and featuring soulful brass and strings, I’m sure this song was used at many funerals in the early ‘80’s.

The premise is that at the end of a person’s life – a person who has reached old age – wisdom comes. But that wisdom is based on the fact that we’ll miss those who leave us when we are old.

As a young man, I was taught that the old were wise and should be respected. For the most part that is true.

By sheer experience of life alone, “seasoned citizens” are wise.

But they don’t always know what is best, nor are they always wise in God’s eyes.

Life experience can only take you so far. And if you rely only on yourself and life experience, you will fall far short of what God has created you to be!

In the book of Job, a forerunner of God is introduced in chapter 32 in the person of Elihu. His name translates as “He is my God.” We are also told his father’s name, which translates as “God blesses.” This tells us that Elihu has been raised to fear (believe in) God and lives a godly and faithful life.

We are also told that Elihu is a young man. When he finally speaks up, he has some incredibly profound things to say. And he would not be considered “old and wise” by any standard.

But being old doesn’t make a person wise.

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

It is God who makes a person wise! While a certain amount and type of wisdom can come with years and experience, the wisdom needed to understand what is happening to Job can only come from God.

Job’s three friends – all older than Elihu – feel that they are wise enough to understand that Job must be wicked to suffer the way he is.

Job himself thinks he is wise enough to understand that he has done nothing to deserve this suffering and, in his wisdom, wishes to confront God.

Elihu, though young, feels compelled to address his elders with true wisdom – that which comes only from God.

No matter our age, we should follow in Elihu’s steps and present God’s Word and Truth to everyone.

When we see someone who is wrong or walking down the wrong path, we should show them God’s Truth! Respectfully show them the Truth, especially if they are older than us. But show them the Truth nonetheless.

Jesus did this quite a bit. Nicodemus was a wise member of the Sanhedrin, yet Jesus taught him the Truth. Jesus was respectful to him but did not back down from Truth.

Jesus did the same with the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. Jesus respectfully told Pilate was the Truth was.

Pilate asks – for all of us – “what is truth?” and we have the answer! The Truth was standing in front of Pilate all along – it is Jesus Christ!

And this is what Elihu is going to present to Job, as well, as we will see over the next several devotions.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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