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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life."—Job 33:4 (NIV)
Did you know that Disney World employees—or “cast members”—are taught to kneel down and speak to children at eye level? Why? So as to not make children feel as though the person addressing them is above them. By kneeling down and speaking to someone at eye level, we’re able to address them as an equal, as a peer, and as a person to be respected.
There’s no doubt that it’s easier to speak openly and comfortably with a peer than a superior. There’s less pressure, intimidation, and self-consciousness. In today’s verse, this is essentially what we see Elihu explaining to Job.
Job dreaded the idea of pleading his case before God, because unlike Disney World cast members, God is not our equal; He is infinitely above and beyond. Job claimed, “But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God . . . How then can I dispute with him? How can I find words to argue with him?” (Job 9:2, 14 NIV). And Job proceeds to wish for a mediator, an arbiter between him and God to hear his case.
And here in this chapter, Elihu is claiming to be just that (Job 33:5), to be the arbiter to listen to Job’s claims and make a fair judgment without fear. As Joseph Barnes points out, “He means to state that he is, like Job, a man; that both were formed in the same way—from the same breathing of the Almighty . . . and that although he had undertaken to speak to Job in God's stead, yet Job had no occasion to fear that he would be overawed and confounded by the Divine Majesty.”
Were his words perfect? Nope. He clearly didn’t understand that trials can overtake even the most upright of men (i.e. John the Baptist, Daniel, Joseph). But he did get one thing right: We are all made in God’s image, given life by the breath of God. We are all equal. No one person is greater than another, no one person is more divinely created or a higher being. We’re on the same level.
Christian, I pray we remember this as we interact with others. We’re not more divinely created nor do we have any special rank of humanity above others. So, let us never seek to elevate ourselves above anyone. Always remember Philippians 2, that the One who is above all lowered Himself to become a servant and gave His life for us. Keep that in mind the next time you are tempted to judge someone else or look down on them.
DIG: Read Job 9 and 33 as well as Philippians 2.
DISCOVER: Why is it important to view people with this perspective of equal footing?
DO: What are some ways you can put others at ease and make them feel as though you are talking to them as equals and peers, not as the morality police or as someone above them? Make a list and begin putting it into practice!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.