We continue with our sermon series entitled ‘Suffering Job’. With preaching from Nathan Gordon and our worship service led by Brian Dickson.
In moments of despair, the support from family and friends can be a real source of strength and encouragement when it seems like the whole world is crumbling all around you. We often say actions speak louder than words, and the saying certainly bares truth. However, the words spoken from the lips of those around us when we are at our lowest can either bring comfort or bring us down even further.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
And so, blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
What was being said in response to Job’s suffering?
Eliphaz, Bildad & Zophar – Job’s friends believed his suffering was the result of iniquity causing God to punish Job for his wrongdoing. We must be careful with passing judgment on other’s, especially if we don’t know all the facts.
Job – Job cursed the day of his birth and questioned the purpose of his existence. “Man born of a woman is of a few days and full of trouble” – Job 14:1
Elihu – another friend of Job and the youngest member of Job’s companions. Waited his turn to speak and rebuked the other friends for their poor advice and further questioned Job’s words.
As we explore the rebuke and advice by Elihu, let us consider the following points and see what can be applied in our conversations with our friends.
Recognition of position – v4-7
- Elihu showed humility by waiting on those who were older to speak first
- Elihu recognised his age could have prevented Job and the other friends from listening or applying his advice.
- Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers. (1 Timothy 5:1)
Be Spirit-Led – v8-9
- The Holy Spirit enables and equips us to offer not only good advice but Godly advice
- Even young people can offer spirit-led advice
God has the final say – v13
Elihu encouraged Job that Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar are unable to judge or condemn Job in his situation. God is ultimately in control and will bring the solution in keeping with his perfect will. Whatever advice we have for others, ensure there is room for God to speak and for his will to be done.
“A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.” -Jessamyn West
“Your words have power. Speak words that are kind, loving, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and life-giving.” -Unknown
- Is it possible to have wisdom without experience and is it possible to have experience without wisdom?
- Do you find it difficult to listen to the advice of those younger than you in age, discuss your reasons why?
- Have you ever felt constrained by the Holy Spirit to give counsel or voice an opinion? how did that make you feel?
- Three times these verses tell us that Elihu “burned with anger.” Was his anger justified? Why/why not? Are you ever justified in your anger? If so, when, according to Scripture, is your anger justifiable?
- Do you find it easier to offer advice or receive from others? Why?
Sermon Title: “Elihu speaks”
Bible Reading: Job 32:1-13
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson