Here we are, in the midst of this debate over Job's life.
And Eliphaz continues to speak...
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.
He gives rain on the earth,
And sends waters on the fields.
He sets on high those who are lowly,
And those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
So that their hands cannot carry out their plans.
He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them.
They meet with darkness in the daytime,
And grope at noontime as in the night.
But He saves the needy from the sword,
From the mouth of the mighty,
And from their hand.
So the poor have hope,
And injustice shuts her mouth.
“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;
Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
This truth told Job is undeniable, for Eliphaz describes our God well.
And we could certainly worship God on some of these descriptive phrases alone.
However, it is the leading phrase of Eliphaz, that catches my breath. Were I Job, I am not certain that I would have heard much of this advice after hearing such...
But as for me...
Has Eliphaz walked in the shoes of Job?
Does he truly know a taste of his sorrow...
a spoonful of the depths of his tragedy?
For none can possibly know the weight of Job's grief.
And now Job describes his friends, and I cringe...
for I fear that I have been such as well.
To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend,
Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook,
Like the streams of the brooks that pass away,
Which are dark because of the ice,
And into which the snow vanishes.
When it is warm, they cease to flow;
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
The paths of their way turn aside,
They go nowhere and perish.
Job says his friends are not at all what he expected...
Like a brook he once passed; and upon return that way, expecting refreshment, the brook was instead muddied, dried up, or vanished.
Like his friends, they are not what he expected when he is in need of compassion, encouragement, and refreshment.
Have I been such a friend?
When someone is in such despair that I do not know what to do or say, so I just throw Bible verses their way, hoping it will soothe. When what they really need is a shoulder to cry upon, a hand to hold, an ear to listen.
Word of God... train me, today...
to be a better friend...
one who is compassionate,
quick to listen,
slow to give advice,
slow to judge,
quick to pray.
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