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Job 4-7


A Devotional Journey
 led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
         Eliphaz’ first speech seems genuinely compassionate.  He advises his friend that while he must be suffering for some sin, nonetheless his piety is unquestionable and in the end God will not destroy him along with the wicked.  In a most amazing display of the theological outlook of the time, Eliphaz even suggests that Job can be thankful for the correction God is giving him (see 5:17). 
         Many good points are made by Eliphaz:  everyone sins (4:17), life is short (4:20), resentment against God is futile (5:2), humility before God is the best course (5:8, 11).  However none of them take into account all that is going on:  namely the discussion in heaven regarding the nature and extent man’s loyalty to God. 
         Job’s response finds its clearest expression in 6:14-15:  “A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.  But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams...”  Genuine friendship, the kind that has grown and developed over time, should not be conditional – even on theology; yet Job increasingly finds that his friends are more like accusers than supporters.  It is clear throughout the book that compassion is given second place to instruction, most likely because the general framework of understanding life is more important that the individuals who must live within its limits.
         To his credit, Job does not stop with human discussion.  In chapter 7, he takes his case to God and speaks directly to Him.  Job’s greatest complaint is that God is too critical.  Notice:  he also speaks without knowledge of all that is going on, and therefore his own conclusions are off track.
         Do you know all God has in mind for your life?  Do you know all the implications for other people of what God allows to happen in your life?  Can you explain how God is able to orchestrate things in such a way to achieve His purposes and, at the same time, bless so many people along the way?   
         Do you ever allow yourself to believe that all your suffering comes in response to your own guilt?  Take another look at the book of Job.  Until he finally realizes the true context of his suffering (something most of us will probably never be able to fully see), he gets the analysis wrong.
         Today, make up your mind that instead of analyzing God’s action (or inaction) in your life, you will just live it, trusting that He is at work and that He loves you.  When the heat goes up, tell Him how you feel.  Ask His strength and His peace.  Because of Christ, who provides the mediation Job longed for, we can be sure of God’s love and our own ultimate victory in Him.  You can count on it!
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010