Christian Devotions

What Friends – Part One

Focus verses: Job 7:17-21

Job’s friends were a comfort to him as they sat in silence with him in his grief. Then they opened their mouths and blew it!

Chapters four through seven are the admonition of Eliphaz and Job’s response to that instruction.

You see, Eliphaz subscribes to the theory that if you prosper on earth, you have been faithful to God. And if calamity befalls you, it’s because you are harboring some secret sin. Calamity and tragedy are somehow the result of your own improper actions.

It’s a very human response. We seem to need simplistic answers. “If this, then that” is the heart of our cause and effect, linear reasoning. If something bad happens, you must have done something to deserve it.

What Eliphaz doesn’t know is that spiritual warfare is taking place here. There is a battle in the heavenlies that neither he nor Job can see or understand.

Job, however, does know something about proportion. He asks “what is man?” and the inference is “in comparison to God.” Job recognizes the difference between God and man in a way that his friends seem not to understand. He doesn’t really understand it himself.

Eliphaz is caught up in the “blame the victim” mind set. If something bad happens, it’s because you did something to bring it on. That isn’t necessarily so.

Job did nothing to bring on this sorrow, He was simply faithful to God. Eliphaz has failed the test for comforting friend. He has brought judgment and condemnation rather than solace.

Father, God,

Deliver us from a judgmental spirit. Fill us with faith that whatever happens, You are aware and You are in charge. Grant us the grace to rely upon You in all circumstances.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.
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