“I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop your flow of foolish words? What have I said that makes you speak so endlessly?” - Job 16:2-3
What turned Job’s masterly comforters into miserable ones? How could these who had consoled him without words (Job 2:13) later crush him with words (Job 19:2)? Words are instruments for good or weapons for ill. Job wished his words about the comfort he was receiving from the Lord could be recorded—written down, carved with an iron chisel (Job 19:23-26). Little did he know they would not only be recorded, but thousands of years later they would be published in the Bible and other books and sung by great choirs around the world.
Job’s comfort came from God, the living God. Job knew that his Redeemer lived (Job 19:25). This God is “the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us” (2 Corinthians 1:3). Job said, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12, NIV).
By continually emphasizing that Job was sinful and far from God, his friends—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar—misrepresented God to Job, and they misrepresented Job to God. Therein lay their error (Job 26:4). They were not speaking living words from God; instead, they spoke their own opinions that proved wrong. We must be very careful to speak what is right about God to people and what is right about people to God. God rebuked these three men for their mistakes (Job 42:7-9).
God comforted Job with his living, loving words. Let us ask God to help us comfort others with words from him.
For Further Study: Job 16:1-22
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.