READ: Job 15, 16, and 17
BACKGROUND: If you’ve read the previous chapters in Job, you’ll be familiar with the basic format of these three chapters. Job’s comfortable life has been turned upside down by tragedy and suffering. His well-meaning friends try to give Job advice (usually bad), and admonish him to repent of his sins even though GOD himself describes Job in Chapter 1 as “blameless and upright, a man who fears GOD and shuns evil.”
15: 1 – 13 – Eliphaz accuses Job of complaining against God and of lacking a proper fear of God.
14 – 16: Eliphaz is right: we are all sinners; however he is wrong that only sin causes suffering. If you have time, look up John 9:3. The disciples ask Jesus about a man born blind. “Was it his sin or his parents that caused him to be blind?” “Neither,” answered Jesus, this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
16: 2 – 5: Job is certain he would provide much more empathy and comfort for his friends if the situations were reversed.
6 – 14: Job has suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In his pain, he sees God as his adversary. We might say Job is the poster child for Post-Traumatic Stress…..
19: Job calls for an advocate. In the legal sense, this advocate would intercede on behalf of an accused person in court. Remember this is the oldest book in the bible -yet even here we see an incredible picture of JESUS who is our advocate before God’s throne (Romans 8:23).
17:2 – Job’s friends are now more like enemies.
6: One of the most disrespectful acts of all – to have someone spit in your face.
9: Despite everything, Job steadfastly holds to righteousness.
13: Job’s only hope is in GOD.
THINK: Understanding suffering and pain in our world is tough. We can’t help but ask “Why me?” or “Why to someone I love?” That’s a completely normal first reaction when we find ourselves in “the worst of times.” The difference between a mature, growing believer in Jesus Christ and an immature Christian or unbeliever is what happens after that first reaction. If we have placed a growing trust in JESUS, we are able to regain our balance. We can consider our sure hope in JESUS. We are LOVED. We are headed for an eternity in heaven. As Paul reminds us in Roman 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Cling to this truth with all your might when trouble comes! JESUS is holding you in the palm of his hand! Never make the mistake of turning to bitterness. Instead, no matter how hard it might be, run to Jesus! Hide in His mighty word!
“Blessed be the God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
ASK: Am I good listener when others need my comfort? Will I commit to PRAY for them and really follow through? Can I listen to and validate their feelings? Pray to have compassion and understanding for others! Few words are necessary!