Read Job 5
Job's overwhelming grief and desire to die; Eliphaz' criticism of Job; Job's response; Bildad's harsh condemnation.
Therefore my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me (Job 6:3-4).
After one full week of silent contemplation about Job's suffering, Eliphaz, the eldest of his friends, was the first to speak. What he had learned by observation led him to conclude that all suffering was the result of sin, and he implied that Job should confess his sins (4:8).
In addition to Job's physical suffering, financial loss, the death of his children, and his wife's hypocrisy, his friends misjudged his integrity.
Job was no hypocrite, as his "comforters" had alleged; and for reasons Job did not understand, God was not coming to his defense. Even worse, it seemed he had been struck down by the arrows of the Almighty. Job said, therefore my words are swallowed up — meaning he just couldn't explain or understand it. There are times we come to a place in life where things are at their worst. We oftentimes start to wonder where is God in all this. We look and can't see Him at work in our lives. However, we may not be looking with spiritual eyes. Frequently we don't see God at work because He is doing things His way and not our way. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out (Rom. 11:33)!
"Pity thyself" is one of Satan's most popular doctrines, for he delights in causing bitterness in the believer, thus influencing him to question God's wisdom. We suffer for Christ's sake not only when we encounter the hatred of the world, as did Christ, but also when we endure the ordinary afflictions of life in which the Man of sorrows (Is. 53:3) shared. Throughout the Word of God, we are told that these sufferings will occur (II Tim. 3:12). The examples in the New Testament are so numerous they can fill books on their own. From Jesus to the Apostles to the early church workers, many have suffered trials and tribulations for their stand for God. This did not stop when the Bible ended. Multitudes still suffer for following God's Word. But, we should not look at this as a bad thing. Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Martin Luther, and Jesus Himself are just a few of those who are standing with you when you are persecuted for defending God and His Word! My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (James 1:2).
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:
The peculiar mark of a Christian is inward joy and peace — even when everything seems to go wrong.
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 the pain of that separation as well as the pain and suffering for all the sins of mankind for all time (Mark 15:34).
5:12 devices, plans, plotting; enterprise, schemes; 5:13 froward, deceitful; carried headlong, frustrated; 5:18 maketh sore, inflicts pain; 6:3 swallowed up, rash; without restraint; 7:21 sleep in the dust, be dead in the grave; 8:5 seek . . . betimes, seek with earnestness; 8:11 flag, reed grass.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Jim Cooper (TN) and Rep. Robert Hurt (VA) • Country: India (986 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Hindi and English • Religious freedom, but increasing harassment and persecution of Christians by religious radicals • 78% Hindu; 12% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 3% Christian; 2.5% Indigenous; 2% Sikh; .9% Buddhist; .5% Jain; .3% Parsi; .2% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; .5% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and fast as you confess your sins and intercede for our nation (Neh. 1:4-6).
Optional Reading: Galatians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 5:4