The Aged and the Wise

Who can say that he is wise? What brings that quality into a man? Is wisdom reserved for the aged, for those who have gone places, for those who have had different experiences? For that matter what is it that can be collected that can show off wisdom?

With the aged [you say] is wisdom, and with length of days comes understanding. But [only] with [God] are [perfect] wisdom and might; He [alone] has [true] counsel and understanding. (Job 12:12, 13 AMP)

The majority of us were taught by our parents to respect our elders. There was good reason behind that teaching. However, respecting your elders never did mean accept everything they say as true wisdom. The above passage tells us, however; that perfect wisdom and might are only with God.

A young man named Elihu was around when Job was telling the story of all that he had been through. He was certain that based on their age, Job’s friends would have the wisdom to impart into Job”s situation. Since his parents had taught him to respect his elders, Elihu sat back and waited for them to speak the truth to Job. To his astonishment, Elihu did not hear the truth or wisdom being dispensed by these “aged” men; instead they sat silent with nothing to contribute. This was Elihu”s response.

Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite said, I am young, and you are aged; for that reason I was timid and restrained and dared not declare my opinion to you. I said, Age should speak, and a multitude of years should teach wisdom [so let it be heard]. But there is [a vital force] a spirit [of intelligence] in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives men understanding. It is not the great [necessarily] who are wise, nor [always] the aged who understand justice. So I say, Listen to me; I also will give you my opinion [about Job’s situation] and my knowledge. You see, I waited for your words, I listened to your wise reasons, while you searched out what to say. (Job 32:6-11 AMP)

Elihu initially let his youth be a reason to hold his tongue; but after hearing the empty advice that was given, he couldn’t hold back what he knew to be true. He wasn’t proud, but he knew he had a position from which to speak.

I also will answer my [God-assigned] part; I also will declare my opinion and my knowledge. For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me. (Job 32:17, 18 AMP)

He knew that since others, even those that would be perceived to be wiser than he, could not provide the answers; it was his God-assigned responsibility to speak up. He also knew that the words, revelation and wisdom were not his own. He had to deliver the message as it was inside of him even if it was seen as unflattering.

I will not [I warn you] be influenced by respect for any man’s person and show partiality, neither will I flatter any man. For I know not how to flatter, [wasting my time in mere formalities, for then] my Maker would soon take me away. (Job 32:21, 22 AMP)

So I ask you; how do you acquire wisdom? Will you sit back under the guise of respecting your elders? How long will you wait for wisdom and truth to be spoken by someone who is older and “wiser” than you? Will you be an Elihu and let the true Spirit of wisdom and truth break forth from you? Will you let the Almighty move through you, will you speak up when He does?

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. (James 1:5 AMP)

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 19 NASB)

He is willing to give all of this to those who freely ask. Do not boast in any wisdom received but boast in the glory of the One Who supplies perfect wisdom.

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