Good and Just
Admittedly, this was a very hard chapter for me to comment on. My inner circle of friends is living this out. And I am the "friend". Yes, there have been times I have sat in silence with my friend, knowing that no words would bring comfort. But, I also know that there have been times when I have opened my mouth hoping to help, counsel, and even comfort with truth even if it is hard truth. Even counsel from God's Word can be misapplied, misinterpreted, and given under wrong assumptions at the wrong time. For this I repent. And by the grace of God and because of the grace and love of my friend, we will forever share an unbreakable bond and a hope that God will redeem and restore all things. This fall we have been blessed with God's glimmers of hope here on earth. A glimpse and promise of the Kingdom of God. CENTRAL TRUTH
Trusting God during the good times is admirable, but to trust God during the hard times, when all you want to do is give up, tests and builds our faith leaving space for God to fulfill His good and perfect plan for your life.
Job 6 - Job’s Friends Are No Help
6 Then Job responded,
2 “Oh if only my grief were actually weighed And laid in the balances together with my disaster! 3 For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas; For that reason my words have been rash. 4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, My spirit drinks their poison; The terrors of God line up against me. 5 Does the wild donkey bray over his grass, Or does the ox low over his feed? 6 Can something tasteless be eaten without salt, Or is there any taste in the juice of an alkanet plant? 7 My soul refuses to touch them; They are like loathsome food to me.
8 “Oh, that my request might come to pass, And that God would grant my hope! 9 Oh, that God would decide to crush me, That He would let loose His hand and cut me off! 10 But it is still my comfort, And I rejoice in unsparing pain, That I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should endure? 12 Is my strength the strength of stones, Or is my flesh bronze? 13 Is it that my help is not within me, And that a good outcome is driven away from me?
14 “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not abandon the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi, Like the torrents of wadis which drain away, 16 Which are darkened because of ice, And into which the snow melts. 17 When they dry up, they vanish; When it is hot, they disappear from their place. 18 The paths of their course wind along, They go up into wasteland and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema looked, The travelers of Sheba hoped for them. 20 They were put to shame, for they had trusted, They came there and were humiliated. 21 Indeed, you have now become such, You see terrors and are afraid. 22 Have I said, ‘Give me something,’ Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth,’ 23 Or, ‘Save me from the hand of the enemy,’ Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?
24 “Teach me, and I will be silent; And show me how I have done wrong. 25 How painful are honest words! But what does your argument prove? 26 Do you intend to rebuke my words, When the words of one in despair belong to the wind? 27 You would even cast lots for the orphans, And barter over your friend. 28 Now please look at me, And see if I am lying to your face. 29 Please turn away, let there be no injustice; Turn away, my righteousness is still in it. 30 Is there injustice on my tongue? Does my palate not discern disasters?
Job responds first by admitting that his words in Chapter 3 were rash but with very good reason. He is in anguish, misery. And on top of his physical pain and calamity, he must now sit and listen to an insensitive and misinformed friend. Despite what Eliphaz claims, Job knows that he has enjoyed a right relationship with God and that this pain, although allowed by God, is not due to an unrepentant sin in his life. He recognizes that God is Just and Good but even more importantly that Almighty God is in complete control of the situation. Therefore, although Job feels helpless, he clings to hope. Yes, Job cries out to God to take his life, he even curses the day of his birth. Job requests God to crush him, destroy him, to cut him loose. Job feels death is his only way out of the pain and misery. But not once does Job attempt to take his life into his own hands. He recognizes that his life is in the hands of God and it is ultimately for God's will and purposes that he still has breath in his lungs. It is in this right view of God that Job places His trust and hope. For the rest of this chapter, Job laments his friend's treatment of him. Even if he did something to deserve this turmoil, shouldn't his friends come alongside him in kindness. But instead he says they are dry, unhelpful, unsympathetic and disappointing. Job again admits that he said some things out of complete desperation and despair, but he asks that his friends show him only compassion and acknowledge that Job is not being punished for a sinful life but that he has lived a righteous life. APPLICATION
We all, as humans, want to understand why there is suffering in the world. Why do our dear friends experience great loss, pain, and agonizing heartache? We will try our best to find reason but will ultimately fail. But it isn't understanding that we need, and it isn't me helping my friend to find understanding that she needs. All God requires of us is faith-complete trust in Him. Ultimately God's ways are beyond our understanding anyway. Job's ultimate hope was in a good God that had always taken care of him, not in his possessions or earthly body. He had already surrendered his life to God, acknowledging that his life was not his own but belonged to his Creator to be used for a greater purpose. He knew that death would bring immediate relief and even eternal bliss, but he never attempted to take his own life. The feeling of helplessness, despair, desperation, and even abandonment are real and common. Satan will lie to us even by the words of those who are closest to us. He says, "just curse God and end your misery today." He tempts the hopeless with a way to escape the pain. As a community of believers let's not be ignorant to this attack. We need to open our eyes and move closer in offering help and hope. As we read to the end of the book of Job we will see the beautiful purpose God has for this righteous man's life. All of Job's earthly life was restored two fold and we still read his story today. God knows the number of our days. He says that this life will not be without suffering, but He has a purpose and perfect plan for each individual life. We won't understand it, but we can trust that it is good and just.