Job 32:6-9 “And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.”
Can you hear it?
Can you hear the respect in Elihu’s voice as he begins to speak?
Early on, I was taught that you addressed an elder as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” and then their last name. It was never “Tom” or “Mary”. Even when I became a young adult, and they said to call them by their first names, it felt uncomfortable and awkward.
Such things as respect and how to address your elders are something taught in the family, and it is supported by what is shown in the school.
In the culture of the Bible, we see the hierarchy of paternalism both in the family and in the community. The father was not only the head, but the leader and key decision maker for where we should live, who we should marry, how to teach our children, and how to worship God.
God instructed His people how to set up the structure of the home and the roles of each in that home.
So, when I read this passage today, what Elihu said regarding Job jumped out at me.
“Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.”
Technology is swiftly stealing away our ability to converse on a level that begets learning, instruction, and debate. It takes away time for couples and spouses to delve into the intricacies of their relationship to honestly ‘know’ each other.
Walk into public places and observe how many people have their faces glued to the screen on their phone. Couples who look as if they are on a date look up only to show another a funny meme, picture, or website in which they feel the other might be interested.
Parents are putting a screen in front of their children that occupy their mind and keeps them out their hair; when they are teaching them about human interaction – or the lack thereof. The training of our children is an everyday, seemingly moment by moment task that can exhaust and frustrate most parents.
The content and information you are putting before your child are forming the man or woman they will become, and its fruit will not reveal itself until it is too late.
Family time is all but vaporized, and when they do get together, they don’t know how to behave or interact with each other. Families are together only because they are within close proximity of each other – not communicating with one another.
So, where is God in all this?
The world no longer has any example of a family that would resemble anything close to what God desires for us. Every instance of the family put before us is disjointed, dysfunctional, and divided. God’s definition is viewed as odd, quirky, harshly structured, and even abusive.
Where are the families that show love one toward another? Where are the fathers who are active in their leadership without being overbearing? Mothers that keep the home teach and train the children; respect, honor, and openly praise the husband? Children who mind their parents; speak respectfully both to their parents and the elders with whom they come in contact?
Where are the families that sit around a dinner table and engage in a lively conversation about a myriad of topics and interests; giving respect to each as they spoke? Families that attend church sit together and talk about what each one learned that day from the teaching and preaching of God’s Word?
Such an example would be put forth as ‘boring’ and ‘uninteresting’ and doesn’t make for good entertainment. We have not heeded the warning that our amusement is the enemy’s indoctrination to distraction, division, and destruction of the family. Yet we watch…
We seek to escape the burden of our life for a short respite; a time to set aside disengage and relax. The very definition of amusement ought to shake us – “a” meaning not or no; “muse” meaning to think. ‘No think’ or ‘Not think’ when sitting in front of a screen means someone else is doing the thinking for me.
In our family, our children had what we called “DEAR” time – Drop Everything And Read time. Books were meant to inspire and engage their minds. It was an activity that forced self-control to sit for a while, be quiet and read.
Today, our adult children exchange titles and authors to a myriad of books and interests. We will discuss a thought, scenario, viewpoint put forth from what we’ve read and interact together over a meal, but the times of our ‘togetherness’ are limited by time and miles.
We interact using technology where we all can see and talk with one another. We use the app ‘Houseparty,’ that allows up to six people to communicate at the same time. It is fun to hear all of them talk about their families and events of their lives. Often I just listen to how they interact with one another and thank God for the children He has given us!
Dear reader, as titled, these are musings on a Saturday morning meant to share what God began as I read His Word. I pray that your day is filled with thoughts of God, His Word, and maybe in a small way, inspired by what has been shared here.