Job 36-37 (click here)
Bear with me a little, and I will show you, for I have yet something to say on God’s behalf. 3 I will get my knowledge from afar and ascribe righteousness to my Maker. 4 For truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you. (Job 36:2-4)
Elihu claims to speak on behalf of God. We all do this from time to time. If we ever try to teach someone anything about God then we are, in a way, claiming to speak on God’s behalf. We have been commissioned to do this very thing! We are ambassadors representatives of the Lord, and we are to proclaim him to the world.
Yet…teaching people about the Lord is a mission that should be approached with humility, holy fear, and much trembling.
James 3:1 warns, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” As someone who regularly teaches and preaches, warnings like this often cause me to lie awake at night, thinking back through everything I’ve taught…searching to see if I can find any error in need of correction.
Elihu has a good goal that we also should seek… he wants to ascribe righteousness to his Maker. He wants to proclaim the glory of God and show his greatness to the world! Our heart should beat with this kind of passion and our lips should proclaim it! Yet, Elihu’s approach is anything but humble…he claims to be perfect in knowledge…a claim that can be made by God alone.
Don’t get me wrong… we should teach truth with conviction and confidence. Uncertainty is not the same thing as humility. The difference in an arrogant or humble approach to teaching the truth about God is found in the source of our confidence. Elihu’s confidence is in himself and his own knowledge. Our confidence needs to be in Christ and his Word.
We humbly, confidently teach people the truth about Christ on the basis of his Word…striving to be as faithful as possible to what he has said about himself.
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.