Read Job 5 -- 8
After one full week of silent contemplation about Job's suffering, Eliphaz, the eldest of his friends, was the first to speak (Job 2:13). He tried to convince Job that he should confess his secret sin, saying: Happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty (5:17). Eliphaz then went on to elaborate on the blessings that could be expected if Job would only confess his sin, and he confidently concluded: Lo . . . we have searched it (out), so it is (true); hear it, and know it for your 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 harass him day after day. Job admitted that some of his remarks were rash -- such as saying he wished he had never been born (3:1-19). Yet, he had merely been expressing his "mental" anguish at a time when he was overwhelmed with pain and sorrow. Job felt the bitter sting of Eliphaz's condemnation; but, he ignored the insinuation that he was a hypocrite. Job appealed for a more compassionate and complete assessment of his character, saying: O that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! . . . To him that is afflicted pity should be shown from his friend (6:2,14).
For reasons which Job did not understand, God had not come to his defense. Even worse, it seemed that he had even been struck down by the arrows of the Almighty (6:4).
Once again, Job's sufferings bring to light a revelation of his spiritual insight: What is man, that You should magnify him? and that You should set Your heart upon him? And that You should visit him every morning, and try him every moment? (7:17-18).
We must recognize our insignificance in comparison to the eternal, Holy, sinless God who created us from the dust of the earth. Furthermore, by nature we are defiled by sin and deserve eternal hell. Our earthly duration is short-lived; but, through the miraculous new birth, we are privileged to be with our Creator for all eternity. However, all who reject Christ as personal Savior and Lord of their lives are destined to be separated from God in the lake of fire. This is the second death (Revelation 20:14).
It is not our Heavenly Father's will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). But, God also tries (proves) us -- if not with afflictions, then with blessings, if not with pains, then with pleasures. Through it all, He is seeking to develop in us a genuine love for and total dependence upon Him.
Like Job, we often find ourselves making rash statements in the midst of unexpected trials. However, Christians today have far less "excuse" than Job because we have the complete Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding. All that God does and allows is for our good. Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29).
Christ Revealed: Through Job's sorrowful condition (Job 7:1-6). Christ was known as a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. . . . (even) saying (on the cross) . . . My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? (Isa. 53:3; Mark 15:34).
Word Studies: 5:12 devices means plotting, enterprise means intentions; 5:13 froward means cunning; 5:18 maketh sore means inflicts pain; 6:3 swallowed up means without restraint; 7:21 sleep in the dust means dead in the grave; 8:5 seek . . . betimes means pray with earnestness; 8:11 flag means reed grass.
Government Official: Gov. Lincoln Almond (RI) · Pray for Youth With A Mission and Jaime Araujo · Country: Maldives (300,000) 400 miles southwest of Sri Lanka · Major languages: Divehi and English · Christian witnessing is banned · 99.9% Muslim; .1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: The promises of God should be an encouragement to you to seek God in prayer (Amos 5:4,6).
Optional Reading: Galatians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 25:21