Tag: Job 4-7

What are friends for?

Scripture reading for May 18: Job 4-7

Close friends who we can share our hearts with are few and far between.  I am blessed with a close friend in my wife.  She is God’s precious gift to me in the area of friendship.  I also have several men who are friends I can count on.  But outside of your mate, friends who will stick with you and speak honestly to you through thick or thin are not that easy to find.  We have trouble trusting others and as we live life, we come to see that each person, ourself included, has his own load of faults and walls of self-defense.  The gift of friendship is something special that must be cultivated over time.

Job was in the thick of his personal crisis.  He had lost his material possessions and his children, and now had lost his health.  His body was covered with sores and he itched and ached.  Worms infested the sores and he could find no rest day or night.  His skin was disfigured and he was sickly and emaciated.  He was just a shadow of his former self and at this point had no answers as to why this was happening to him.  His own wife had advised him to curse God and die.  Three friends were sitting quietly with him. 

One friend, Eliphaz, finally spoke with advice for his friend.  Eliphaz believed that God punished the wicked and He rewarded the righteous.  Any suffering was the result of some sin and God was punishing wickedness.  God would restore and heal any person who honestly confessed their sin.  Eliphaz got this revelation from a personal experience with a “spirit” and from personal observation.  (Job 4:12-21)  The ‘accuser’ had used Eliphaz to torment his friend. Eliphaz did not know God had Himself declared Job righteous before the suffering began and allowed Satan to test Job in this manner! (Job 1:8)

But Job knew his own heart and his integrity would not let him confess to something he did not know about.  He would not try to manipulate God just to get everything back.  Rather than being comforted by Eliphaz’s words, he was made even more miserable!  (Job 6:21)  Job went to God in prayer for the help he needed and the advice his friend did not give!  (Job 7:17-21)

As I read Job’s story, I am reminded of my need for compassion for those who suffer!  It is easy to judge others from our own worldly wisdom!  God’s ways are above our understanding and we cannot always know the whole story through our own study or personal experience.  Listening closer is wise!  Waiting on the Lord and encouragement is a wiser course of action.  My prayer:  “Help me O Lord, to be a better friend to those who suffer!”

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Job’s friends!

Scripture reading for May 20th: Job 4-7

Friends are a precious gift to any person!  It seems that as we go through life, close friends who we can share our hearts with are few and far between.  I am blessed with a close friend in my wife.  I also have several men who are friends I can count on.  But outside of your mate, friends who will stick with you and speak honestly to you through thick or thin are not that easy to find.

Job was in the thick of his personal crisis.  He had lost his material possessions and his children, and now had lost his health as well.  His body was covered with sores and he itched and ached.  Worms infested the sores and he could find no rest day or night.  He was just a shadow of his former self and had no answers as to why this was happening to him.  His own wife had advised him to curse God and die!  Three friends were there with him and had waited in silence.

Eliphaz was first to speak from the world-view of his day (and ours sometimes).  That world-view stated that God punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous.  Any suffering was the result of sin and God was correcting wickedness.  If a man was honest about his sin, God would restore and heal.  Eliphaz got this revelation from a personal experience with a “spirit” and by learning from personal observation.  (Job 4:12-21)  This worldly understanding was not the truth in Job’s case!  God had allowed Job’s suffering for His own reasons and had Himself declared Job righteous before the suffering began! (Job 1:8)

Job knew his own heart and his integrity would not let him confess just anything to appease his friend.  He would not try to manipulate God just to get everything back.  Rather than being comforted by Eliphaz’s words, he was made even more miserable!  (Job 6:21)  Job went to God in prayer for the help he needed!  (Job 7:17-21)

As I read this discourse, I am reminded of my need for compassion for those who suffer!  It is so easy to judge them from my own worldly wisdom!  God’s ways are above our understanding and we cannot always know the whole story through our own revelation or personal experience.  Listening closer is wise!  Waiting on the Lord and encouragement is a wiser course of action.  My prayer:  “Help me O Lord, to be a better friend to those who suffer!”

Tags : , , , ,

What are friends for?

Scripture reading for May 20th: Job 4-7

Friends are a precious gift to any person!  Close friends whom we can share our hearts with are few and far between.  I am blessed with a close friend in my wife.  I also have several men who are friends I count on.  But outside of your mate, friends who will stick with you and speak honestly to you are not that easy to find.

Job was in the thick of his personal crisis.  He had lost his material possessions and his children, and now had lost his health as well.  His body was covered with sores and he itched and ached.  Worms infested the sores and he could find no rest day or night.  He was just a shadow of his former self and at this point had no answers as to why this was happening to him.  His own wife had advised him to curse God and die.  Three friends were there with him and sat  for seven days in silence.

Eliphaz  finally spoke up and gave advice from the popular world-view of his day: “God punishes the wicked rewards the righteous.”  In this view, any suffering was the result of some sin.  Confession and honesty about your sin would restore and heal you.  Eliphaz got this revelation from a personal experience with a “spirit” and by learning from personal observation.  (Job 4:12-21)  But this view was not the truth in Job’s case!  God had allowed Job’s suffering for His own reasons and had Himself declared Job righteous before the suffering began. (Job 1:8)

Job knew his own heart and his integrity would not let him confess to something he was not aware of.  He would not try to manipulate God just to get everything back.  Rather than being comforted by Eliphaz’s words, he became  more miserable!  (Job 6:21)  Job went to God in prayer for the help he needed and the answers his friend could not give!  (Job 7:17-21)

I am reminded of my need for compassion for those who suffer!  It is so easy to judge them from my own worldly wisdom!  God’s ways are above our understanding.  Listening  and waiting on the Lord is a wiser course of action.  My prayer:  “Help me O Lord, to be a better friend to those who suffer!”

Tags : , , , , ,

Questions Without Answers

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.

Tags : , , , ,

What are friends for?

Scripture reading for May 20th: Job 4-7

Friends are a precious gift to any person!  It seems that as we go through life, close friends who we can share our hearts with are few and far between.  I am blessed with a close friend in my wife.  She is God’s precious gift to me in the area of friendship.  I also have several men who are friends I can count on.  But outside of your mate, friends who will stick with you and speak honestly to you through thick or thin are not that easy to find.  I think this is partly because of our own selfishness and ingrained patterns of sin.  We have trouble trusting others ourselves and as we live life, we come to see that each person has his own load of faults and own walls of self-defense.  So the gift of friendship is something special that must be cultivated over time by building trust and through shared experiences that help you bond.

Job was in the thick of his personal crisis.  He had lost his material possessions and his children, and now had lost his health as well.  His body was covered with sores and he itched and ached.  Worms infested the sores and he could find no rest day or night.  His skin was disfigured and he was sickly and emaciated.  He was just a shadow of his former self and at this point had no answers as to why this was happening to him.  His own wife had advised him to curse God and die.  Three friends were there with him.  The passage we are reading today is the advice of Eliphaz, the Temanite, as he speaks to try to help his friend.

Eliphaz was giving advice from the world-view of his day (and ours sometimes).  That world-view stated that God punished the wicked and He rewarded the righteous.  Any suffering was the result of some sin and God was correcting your wickedness.  If you would confess and be honest about your sin, God would restore and heal you.  Eliphaz got this revelation from a personal experience with a “spirit” and by learning from personal observation.  (Job 4:12-21)  This worldly understanding was not the truth in Job’s case.  God had allowed Job’s suffering for His own reasons and had Himself declared Job righteous before the suffering began! (Job 1:8)

Job knew his own heart and his integrity would not let him confess to something he did not know about.  He would not try to manipulate God just to get everything back.  Rather than being comforted by Eliphaz’s words, he was made even more miserable!  (Job 6:21)  Job went to God in prayer for the help he needed and the answers his friend could not give!  (Job 7:17-21)

As I read this discourse, I am reminded of my need for compassion for those who suffer!  It is so easy to judge them from my own worldly wisdom!  God’s ways are above our understanding and we cannot always know the whole story through our own revelation or personal experience.  Listening closer is wise!  Waiting on the Lord and encouragement is a wiser course of action.  My prayer:  “Help me O Lord, to be a better friend to those who suffer!”

Tags : , , , ,