Job and his Friends, True Faith Tested

A daily devotion for December 12th

Honest To God

Then Job replied: I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing? I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you.

Job 16:1-4

In chapters 16 and 17, Job answers his friends. He does not know what to say, but he is trying to be honest. The great thing about Job is that he is no hypocrite; he never tries to cover over or set his case in a better light--he simply blurts out all the hurt and anguish of his heart as best he can. These are sarcastic words coming from a man who is tortured. You can see from this that Satan, though he has faded from the scene, is still there in the background using these friends as channels for what the apostle Paul calls the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16). These flaming arrows are the accusations of the accuser against believers. Let us beware of becoming a channel for Satan's accusations against someone who is suffering as Job is suffering here.

Then Job goes on to state the facts, as he understands them. First he says, All I can conclude from what I am suffering is that God must hate me. God assails me and tears me in his anger (Job 16:9a). Job sees that even the people around him have rejected him and ascribes responsibility for those circumstances to God: God has turned me over to evil men and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked (Job 16:11).

Job charges God with all that is wrong in his life. Yet God is wonderfully patient. He does not reply against Job, nor does He strike him down in anger. Job is certainly not the finest example of faith in the Scriptures. Men like Paul suffered extremely, as did Job. We think of that Silent Sufferer in the Garden of Gethsemane, who, when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23). How much higher is that level of response than what we see in the book of Job? But Job is an example for us of how we must break through our natural view of life so that we begin to see things in a different light. This book is here to teach us that God sometimes has to translate theology into painful experience before we really begin to grasp what He is trying to say to us.

Father, thank You that You have sent Your Son, who has endured more suffering than I. Grant me the strength to endure whatever You allow into my life.

Life Application

When we are confronted with unaccountable pain or seemingly unearned trials, do we see Jesus as our model of redemptive suffering?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Help from On High

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