Bible translation used in today's episode: GNT
Sometimes the best thing a friend can do for a friend in trouble is to just be with them. Words from a well-meaning but ignorant friend can add to the pain, as Eliphaz has done here with Job. Eliphaz thinks he knows what he is talking about, but he has never suffered like Job is. He says, "Evil does not grow in the soil, nor does trouble grow out of the ground. No indeed! We bring trouble on ourselves, as surely as sparks fly up from a fire."
We know that Job has suffered these losses not because of anything he has done. On the contrary! It’s because he was a blameless man that the enemy took notice of him.
But Eliphaz believes that Job has had some moral failing. He doesn’t understand that sometimes bad things happen to good people.
We live in a world that is suffering the effects of sin. As we learn in Genesis, the world is under a curse, and Satan is having a grotesque influence on it. Bad things happen to people, evil people and godly people. I have seen it, and so, probably, have you.
And in chapter 6, Job responds. He says, "Almighty God has shot me with arrows, and their poison spreads through my body. God has lined up his terrors against me."
Even Job misunderstands what is going on. He thinks God has caused his suffering.
But beloved, remember that God allowed Satan to do these things to Job. And remember, he put a limit on what Satan could do. But God is not doing these things.
And Job said, "Why won't God give me what I ask? Why won't he answer my prayer?"
I don’t thinK there is a believer alive who hasn’t asked those questions. We think we know what is best for us, and we sometimes treat God as if He is a miracle vending machine.
Again, Job speaking says, |I know that God is holy; I have never opposed what he commands."
So we see here that at least Job has not lost perspective on who God is. That is a good sign. It’s good, when in the midst of trials, to remember that God is holy. That God is in control, despite the circumstances.
Job’s closing words in this sixth chapter are to his friends. "In trouble like this I need loyal friends—whether I've forsaken God or not. But you, my friends, you deceive me like streams that go dry when no rain comes. You would even roll dice for orphan slaves and make yourselves rich off your closest friends!"
Do you think his friends will change their approach? We’ll see next week.