The Old Sage (Job 32:6-9)

“We’re at an impasse. We need help!” 

“You know what we have to do.” 

The three men glanced at each other and nodded in agreement. They trundled off to seek the old man, the sage. Numerous cartoons depict seekers of wisdom desperately scaling steep mountains to reach an old teacher, silently meditating at the summit. Whether in literature or the media, wisdom is often associated with age. There is a general truth with this, but while one usually accumulates more knowledge with age, it does not always equate with greater wisdom. 

The Bible includes a notable exception. When Job was at the height of his suffering, his three “friends” rubbed salt in his wounds by accusing Job of harboring hidden sins and impure motives. Only after days of debate did a younger man, Elihu, speak up and rebuke his three older colleagues and Job.

Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said, “I am young and you are old, so I held back from telling you what I think. I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’ But there is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent. Sometimes the elders are not wise. Sometimes the aged do not understand justice.”

Job 32:6-9 (NLT)

Indeed! The younger Elihu chastised his three elder colleagues and convincingly demonstrated that age does not always equate with wisdom. The most beautiful example is provided by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When he was still a boy, Jesus was in the Temple, asking questions of the leading religious leaders and teachers of the day. Did they rebuke him? Did they chase him away? No! They listened and learned. 

Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 

Luke 2:46-47 (NLT)

As I enter my senior citizen years, I am keenly aware that my earthly years are numbered. Have I accumulated a great deal of knowledge? Yes. Have I acquired wisdom? Only by God’s grace and mercy will He allow me this blessing. I pray that I will finish well, using my wisdom and knowledge to show others the glory of God through faith and belief in Jesus Christ. 

Respect your elders and pray that their years of life have resulted in wisdom as well as knowledge.

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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