Highlights In Today's Reading:
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 (7:16-21).
After one week of silent contemplation about Job's suffering (2:13), Eliphaz, the chief spokesman of his friends, was first to speak. His many years of observation led him to believe that all suffering was the result of sin. Therefore, he said to Job: I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. . . . Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty (4:8; 5:17). Eliphaz tried to convince Job that he was a sinner.
In addition to Job's physical sufferings, his children's deaths, his financial loss, and his wife's bitterness toward God for the suffering he was experiencing, Job felt the harsh sting of condemnation from Eliphaz, as well as all three friends who had also misjudged his integrity. Job appealed for a more complete assessment of his character, saying: Oh that my grief were throughly weighed (6:2). His sorrows and sufferings seemed heavier than the sand of the sea (6:3). But even more pathetic, it seemed that he had been struck down by the arrows of the Almighty (6:4).
For reasons which Job did not understand, God did not come to his defense. Job lamented: Therefore my words are swallowed up — meaning: Some of my words may have been rash — such as saying he wished he had never been born (3:1,3-11). But he did not seek to justify his careless words. He merely expressed his human weakness of exaggerating statements at a time when he was overwhelmed with pain and mental anguish.
We sometimes find ourselves also making rash statements in the midst of unexpected trials. But we have far less excuse than Job inasmuch as we have all the Old and New Testaments to enlighten our understanding and strengthen our faith. Added to that, we have a new nature — born of God — with the indwelling Holy Spirit who reminds us that God is still in control of our circumstances and that we can trust in the promises of His Word.
We learn through Job's suffering that our sovereign God is in control and is perfecting His will in and through us. This gives meaning to the statement: 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 = 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 Radio Sri Lanka Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. Ryan Boetcher• Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Officials: Gov. M. Jodi Rell (CT) and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH) • Country: Romania (22.5 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Rumanian and Hungarian • Freedom of worship • 69.5% Romanian Orthodox Church; 14% non-Religious/Other; 8% Protestant; 7% Catholic; 1% Muslim; .1% Jewish; .4% Marginal • Prayer Suggestion: Pray when you are afflicted and suffering (James 5:13).
Optional Reading: Galatians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:13