Job 33:33: “If not, listen to me [Elihu]; hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.”

June 25th, 2017 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Elihu was very confident that he understood the ways of God. Without any trace of discernible humility, he claimed to have an upright heart and to possess pure knowledge. He maintained that he was on Job’s side, and “encouraged” him by asserting that God only sent suffering as discipline, meant to bring the person to repentance. And that if the sufferer responded correctly to the discipline, there would be immediate deliverance. The only problem with his theology was that it was dead wrong, Job was not in sin and God was not disciplining him. Elihu’s arrogant attitude made it all the harder to swallow. Like Job’s other 3 counselors, Elihu also failed to be a friend who blessed, and in fact only further added to Job’s frustration and suffering.

As we grow and mature in the Lord, we have to be doubly careful not go the way of the Pharisees, becoming spiritual hypocrites. When we discern that others are struggling or failing, we must use that discernment responsibly, not as an excuse to become mocking critics but rather praying intercessors. We have been called to be friends that bless, not betray. Humility, remaining conscious of our own great need for grace, is our greatest antidote to becoming judgmental and hypocritical.

A pompous deacon tried to impress a class of sixth-grade boys on the importance of openly living the Christian life. “Why do people call me a Christian?” he asked. After a moment’s pause, one eleven-year-old boy piped up, “Maybe because they don’t know you.” Ouch.

“LORD, we are sinners in need of Your grace again today just to walk humbly, being a blessing to others and not a stumbling block.”