Job's friends don't understand what happened (chaps. 5 & 8). But, Job responds with the wisdom of God (chap. 6) and then prays to God (Job 7:16-21).
After one full week of silent contemplation about Job's suffering, Eliphaz, his eldest friend spoke first (Job 2:13). He tried to convince Job to confess his secret sin, saying: Happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not . . . the chastening of the Almighty (5:17). Eliphaz then elaborated on the blessings Job could expect if he would only confess his sin, and he confidently concluded: Lo . . . we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good (5:27).
In addition to Job's physical sufferings, his financial loss, the death of his children, and his wife's bitterness toward God, all three of his friends misjudged his integrity and continued to unmercifully attack him day after day. Job felt the bitter sting of Eliphaz's condemnation and his insinuation that Job was a hypocrite. Job did not understand why God had not come to his defense. Even worse, it seemed to him that he had even been struck down by the arrows of the Almighty (6:4).
However, through Job's sufferings we see how the Lord was bringing to light deeper spiritual insight, when Job said: What is man, that Thou shouldest magnify him? and that Thou shouldest set Thine heart upon him? And that Thou shouldest visit (examine) him every morning, and try (test) him every moment? (7:17-18).
We too recognize our insignificance in comparison to the eternal, holy, and Almighty God. Although He created us, by nature we are defiled by sin and deserve eternal punishment. But, through the miraculous new birth, we have the joy of being eternally with our loving Creator. However, all who reject Christ as personal Savior and Lord will be cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Rev. 20:14).
It is not our Heavenly Father's will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9). However, God tries (proves) us — either with afflictions or with blessings. Through it all, He is seeking to develop in us a genuine love for and commitment to Him.
All that God does and allows is for our ultimate good. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Phil. 1:29).
Thought for Today:
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings (I Pet. 4:12-13).
Through Job's sorrowful condition (Job 7:1-6). Christ was known as a Man of sorrows . . . acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3). On the cross, separated from God in His humanity, Jesus felt that pain in addition to all our sins which for all time He bore (Mark 15:34).
5:12 devices =plans, plotting, enterprise =schemes; 5:13 froward =deceitful; carried head long =frustrated; 5:18 maketh sore =inflicts pain; 6:3 swallowed up =ash; without restraint; 7:21 sleep in the dust =be dead in the grave; 8:5 seek . . . betimes =seek with earnestness; 8:11 flag =seed grass.
Pray for Staff: Al Joslyn • Government Officials: Gov. M. Jodi Rell (CT) and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH) • Country: Namibia (1.6 million) in southwest Africa • Major languages: Afrikaans and German • Religious freedom • 89% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other (Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i) • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to fill you with love for the unlovely (I John 4:7-8).
Optional Reading: Galatians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:9