Tag: God’s withdrawn
Scripture reading for May 20th: Job 4-7
Suffering has always been an issue for the people of God. Our reasoning goes something like this: if we are obedient and serve God, we should always be blessed! When the opposite happens it puts us in a dilemma. We struggle to know whether we have some hidden sin or if God has turned on us for some reason. Satan loves to suggest to us that God is at fault for our suffering so we should turn away from Him. Job and his friends are going through this type of discussion in today’s reading.
Eliphaz the Temanite was one of Job’s friends who sat with him in silence for seven days. (Job 2:11-13) He saw how miserable Job was and wept with him. He listened as Job cursed the day of his birth and questioned why he was even born. (Job 3:11) He heard his groaning and then felt compelled to speak. He tried to encourage Job with his remembrance of Job’s past good works. He told him that innocent men never perished, only those who did evil. Perhaps behind this was an effort to get Job to check his heart for any evil.
On another level, this was an attempt by Satan to get at Job. Eliphaz had a spirit glide past his face and he was shaken and alarmed. This “spirit” stopped and a form stood before his eyes and he heard a voice saying, “Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? If God places no trust in His servants, if he charges His angels with error, how much more those who live in house of clay, whose foundations are dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth!” (Job 4:15-19) The “accuser” was at work through this friend to taunt Job and stir up mistrust and hard feeling against God.
Job was not comforted by these thoughts. Although he was still suffering greatly and wanted God to back off, he held to his own faithfulness to God’s word. (Job 6:10) Job asked many questions about his own worth. He wondered aloud at what he had done and why God had made him his target. He even asked if he had become a burden to God! (Job 7:20) This is spiritual conflict going on in the mind of Job as he suffered! No answers came then.