Speaking What Is Right
A daily devotion for December 26th
7 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite,I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. (Job 42:7)
Perhaps we are surprised that in this account God affirms that Job was right in what he said about Him. We have never seen any recognition up to this time that Job had said right things. In fact, much of the book is aimed at pointing out that Job was wrong in his attitude about God. Although both Job and his friends say some wonderfully true things about God, and there are great passages of brilliance and glory that depict something of His power, beauty, and wisdom, Job himself admitted that he spoke in ignorance and folly, and he repents of this and puts his hand on his mouth. So it is rather surprising that God twice admits that Job has said that which is right about Him.
In what way did he say what was right? First, when Job could not see the sin in himself, he did indeed charge God with unfairness, but the moment God shows him the sin that is still deeply embedded in his heart, he immediately repents. There is no hesitation, no argument, and no self-defense. He admits immediately that the problem is with him and not with God.
Second, Job is always true to the facts as he sees them. He did not see them very clearly, and there are things about himself and about God's rule in the universe that he did not understand, but to the point where he did see things, he was always honest. There was no distorting or twisting of the facts to fit an inadequate theology.
Third, he took his problem to God, even though God was his problem. That is an admirable thing in Job. You remember how all through the account he is breaking into prayer constantly. Out of the torment and anguish that he feels, he always ends up laying his complaint before God. The friends never pray for Job. They never ask God to relieve his suffering; they never ask for help or wisdom or understanding on their part. They simply ignore all contact with the living God themselves, but Job is forever crying out before God and bringing his problems, his bewilderment, and his bafflement to the Lord Himself and asking for wisdom and help.
Finally, when Job does repent, he declares without restraint and reservation that God is God, that He is holy and wise and just and good, even when He seems to be otherwise. Ultimately, that is the highest expression of faith--that we do not trust our human observations of what is happening. We understand the limitations of our humanity, and we do not assume that we have all the facts so that we can condemn and judge a holy God. That is what Job does. He pronounces God as just and holy in all that He does.
Lord, even when I cannot understand what You are doing, help me speak what is right concerning You and bring my burden to You as the only One who can sustain me.
Life Application: God can use pain to deepen our shallow understanding of who God really is. Do we recognize the difference between merely knowing about God and truly knowing Him?
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