Job’s final speech in 31 is a weird list of all the sins he could have committed to deserve this, but didn’t. It’s his last stand before he falls silent and Elihu steps forward to “take a stab at it”.
“I too will answer my share, I also will tell my opinion. For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me. Behold, my belly is like unvented wine, like new wineskins it is about to burst. Let me speak that I may get relief; let me open my lips and answer.”￼ (32:17-20)
This reminds me of someone who has withheld their opinion about something on Facebook as long as they could, and is about to explode.
While Elihu’s opinion shapes up to be bit more nuanced and thoughtful than his elders, it still falls short. Why? It’s still one man’s opinion.
No one has the perspective and insight as our Creator, obviously, but I think we can still glean something from Elihu (I hope so, he gets 6 chapters).
Today, let’s just zero in on the fact he waited his turn. He let the elders speak first, and I’m sure extensive listening helped him formulate a more robust point of view.
Waiting and listening, longer than I’m naturally comfortable, has been a major growing point for me in recent years. I’ve always been quick-witted and interested to hear what I think as it’s tumbling out of my mouth. While it’s proven entertaining, it hasn’t always been helpful.
Learning to listen is invaluable. Anything employing humility and self-control will be beneficial at some point.
We can’t just react. Our media cycles are insane, and it usually takes a couple days for full stories to emerge. We do well to be patient.
When was a time you waited to weigh in on something and it paid off?