Today’s Bible Reading: Job 4-7:21; 1 Corinthians 14:18-40; Psalm 37:30-40; Proverbs 21:27
After Job ranted about his situation in Job 3 yesterday, Eliphaz, one of his three friends, responds. Although Eliphaz’s conclusion (which we’ll see shortly) was incorrect, he does make a good point in Job 3:3-5.
Job was a godly man who had encouraged many people in the past who were going through difficult times. But now when he was going through a difficult time he lost heart. I think it is always easier to encourage others than it is to encourage ourselves. That is why we need to fill our life with godly people who will take the time to encourage us when we need it.
Eliphaz had concluded that Job was suffering because he was guilty of some sin. He based this on his “experience” (Job 3:7). You and I know, from Job 1 and 2, that this was not the case. Be wary of people who claim expertise when it comes to spiritual matters, especially those who are quick to jump to conclusions.
As we’ll see as we read the rest of Job, not once do Job’s friends ever talk to God. They only talk to Job. And they only say what they think they know. We should never take advice from ungodly friends or relatives. They don’t know what they are talking about. Their viewpoint is worldly. To Job’s credit, he rightly dismisses his friend’s advice.
Eliphaz’s “experience” told him that trouble does not come from out of nowhere (Job 5:6). But we know this is not true. We will have trouble in life simply because that is how life works. Although we certainly can bring trouble upon ourselves with our decisions and behavior, that is not always where trouble stems from.
In his plea to get Job to see his sin, Eliphaz says something else that is true. It is a joy to be corrected by God (Job 5:17). God corrects those He loves (Proverbs 3:11-12) because He wants us to sin less and become more like Him.
Job rejects Eliphaz’s advice as being unsalted and therefore tasteless and not appealing (Job 6:6). Eliphaz presence in Job’s time of need was like the promise of a refreshing brook to a traveler during the hot weather. But the brook was dried up and disappointing, as was Eliphaz’s comments (Job 6:15-18).
People don’t need to be reminded of their sin when they are down. Eliphaz’s approach seems very legalistic – If you do A you get B. But that is not exactly how things work with God. Job knew this. His friends did not.
Paul continues to discuss speaking in tongues in 1 Corinthians 14 today. He starts off by saying that although he can speak in tongues, and is thankful for that ability, it is more important to speak words that help others (1 Corinthians 14:18). As we read yesterday, speaking in tongues is for communicating with God, not with other people.
The purpose of Christians meeting together is to edify each other (1 Corinthians 14:26b, 31). We don’t gather for to be entertained by the worship music or to hear a funny anecdote from the pastor. We gather so that when our gathering is over and we go home, we are more learned than we were before.
Psalm 37 concludes today. Yesterday the psalm began with a warning against fretting about those who do not walk with God seemingly having a rewarding life while the godly suffer. But we have no reason to worry or be afraid. God will never let those who follow His law slip away (Psalm 37:31) nor will He let us be ambushed by the wicked (Psalm 37:33).
Instead of looking at the apparent successes of unbelievers, we should keep our eyes on God (Psalm 37:34). They will be destroyed (Psalm 37:38). But we will be rescued (Psalm 37:39-40).
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