Part of the challenge of reading Job is that Job contains dialogue with three of his friends who don’t know about chapters 1 and 2. These three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar (how would you like to have one of those names?) come and offer counsel to Job. The challenge is that these guys say some true things but they are wrongly applying them to Job, therefore, they are wrong. Now, that alone is a sermon in itself, dealing with falsely applying things to people when we have misread the situation. But I digress.
What is not so challenging is hearing the honest questions, challenges and appeals that Job makes in his dialogue with his friends and the Father.
In chapter 13, Job has some harsh things to say about his friends counsel such as, “As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all”, and “Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!”, and “Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him?” Ouch!
Do folks say that about your counsel? Do folks run when they see you coming because you wear them out with your words rather than equip them? Are you rightly representing the Lord’s case for yourself and others? Just a side thought.
With Job’s dialogue he makes for more than we can deal with in this post, so let me point you to Job 13:15.
“Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.”
Here are some observations for your meditation:
1. Job continues his correct conclusion that in spite of Satan’s role, the Lord is the one who is in charge of his hardship, therefore, Job can continue to hope in the good justice and mercy of the Lord. (See chapters 1 and 2 and read them carefully and remember that the author is inspired, speaking from the Lord as carried along by the Spirit and the text is inerrant).
Hardship is not to take us away from the Lord but intended to drive us to the Lord and find him to be secure and an ever-present help in a time of need. Hardship helps to grow our trust in the Lord. Hardship, even if by Satan’s had, is passed through the sovereign and good grace of God for your good and his glory. Take courage!
2. My hope is not contingent on how easy or hard things are. My hope is built on the foundation of the nature and character of Father, Son and Spirit. My hope is in the Lord alone and not on anything else. So, even if the world should implode, my hope cannot be shaken because our great God cannot be shaken. Take courage!
3. Job continues to approach the Father in face-to-face prayer. Job’s hope in the Lord led to his continual coming to the Lord. We are invited to come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in our need. Take hope in the purchased gift of the Gospel of coming to the Lord with no fear of being cast out, rather being embraced and treated as a son or daughter.