Sunday, February 7, 2016

Study of Job: A Little Friendly Advice

So, it's been several months since I started this study of suffering in Job, namely because I have been distracted by my own suffering. I think perhaps there was divine guidance to this study....but that's just my opinion.

So, when we last left Job and his friend Eliphaz in chapter 4, Eliphaz was having a sort of crisis of faith. This man, Job, his dear and righteous and upstanding friend had suddenly incurred what seemed to be the wrath of God.

But this is where Eliphaz goes off the rails a bit-it is not the wrath of God that has afflicted Job, it is the scourge of Satan. It is the physical equivalent of the lies you and I hear every day-"you aren't good enough", "he doesn't really love you", "you are failing as a _________." See-Satan doesn't have his own power....he has to take it from you. He has to use people to accomplish his evil, he uses our fears, doubts, anxieties, and anger to accomplish his purposes.

So on to chapter 5. Eliphaz has apparently recovered from his crisis of faith and now calls Job foolish.  He admonishes that there is no one safe from the plights Job has experienced and no man on earth can help him or undo what has happened. This is a kind of epiphany for Eliphaz, he is realizing that if this can happen to Job, no one is "safe". 

Then Eliphaz gives Job a little friendly advice:

But as for me, I would seek God. And to God I would commit my cause-who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.
-Job 5:8-9 

Finally, Eliphaz encourages Job to not despise God's discipline. He reminds Job that is this pruning and refining process, which can be painful and difficult, that God is shaping us into the creatures He we were created to be-His children.