In the chapters we covered this week, Job is still in deep pain. This pain goes beyond the physical to the emotional and even the spiritual. In chapters 15-21, we have round 2 of the debates between Job and his three “friends”. In 15, Eliphaz accuses Job of being a windbag, ignoring wisdom, being deceitful, a liar, a hypocrite and wicked. He tells Job he needs to repent of his sins. And yet, Eliphaz considered himself to be comforting and gentle!
Let’s be clear about this. Sin can and does bring suffering; no doubt about it. Job, however, was not suffering due to sin. Go back and look at chapters 1 & 2. Most specifically 2:3.
In 16, Job thanks his friends for their “words of comfort,” and rebukes them for their misunderstanding. He cries out to God. He wants to plead his case and asks for a mediator, a divine helper. (We have that in Christ Jesus – 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 9:24.). In 17, Job continues and is mocked. He asks God for a pledge, a security – “Lay down a pledge for me with you; who is there who will put up security for me?”(17:3). As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us as a guarantee. Ephesians 1:13 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (I like to think of it as having a little bit of heaven right here in my heart.) Job scorns his friends and longs for death.
In chapter 18 Bildad the Shuhite, (shortest guy in the Bible…he was Shuhite – shoe height), denounces Jo and says Job is suffering for his sins. In 19, Job tells his friends that they should be ashamed of how they have wronged him. Job states in 19:25 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” Job believes there is a Redeemer who will one day come and restore him. We know that the Redeemer is Jesus Christ.
In chapter 20, Zophar scolds Job and tells him that his prosperity was brief because of his wickedness. In 21, Job replies, if you won’t help me, as least listen to me. He agonizes over why the wicked prosper? Why doesn’t God punish them? Life is not fair. (And Job has some lousy friends!)
In chapters 21-26, we have round three of the debates. It is more of the same only ramped up and more harsh. In chapters 27-31, Job makes his final defense to his “friends.” In 27, he still protests his innocence. In 28, he describes searching for wisdom as one would mine for gold. In 29, Job recalls the good ole days. Life was good; God was shining on him. He helped the poor, the orphans, widows, the blind and sick. He was respected by people and lived as a king. In ch. 30, Job recalls how now he has nothing and is nobody. He talks about the tough times, physical torment, and the silence of God. In chapter 31, he tries to again justify his innocence.
I think we can see so many things in this passage that teach us what NOT to do as friends. We are to be kind and caring and compassionate. They jumped to wrong conclusions about Job without a shred of evidence that he had done anything wrong. Never once did they offered food, drink, a soft blanket, medicine or comfort.
Like I mentioned last week, we have advantages that Job did not have. One of those is the Holy Bible. How much of it do you get into your heart and mind on a daily basis? Spiritually speaking, it is your daily bread.
“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4
“I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food,” Job 23:12.
God bless you,
MaryFollow Merry Ministries online
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