So far through Job we have seen the back and forth discourse between Job and his three friends. While they have been going at it, another has sat in the wings listening to their arguments. This man is much younger and because of that he has purposefully sat in the shadows keeping quiet and simply listening. Through it all, while keeping quiet, while simply listening he begins to develop frustration with Job and his friends. He has listened long enough, now he must unload his thoughts.
Elihu realizes he is young, he realizes the men he is talking to have lived many years. He states this as the reason he has kept quiet for so long … “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.” (Job 32:6-7). Friends, I think that is wonderful wisdom for many of us to learn from and operate by.
But … I think we would also be wise to be willing to learn from various generations. There is so much the younger can teach the older. The young must however remember that there is much wisdom in those who have lived and experienced the knowledge that comes through living many years. There is wisdom that can come only from living and experiencing life.
Let’s learn from Elihu that wisdom does come from age. However, let’s also realize that there are things that the younger generations can share and teach older generations. It is what makes all this work … learning and being willing to learn from each other.