Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trying To Comfort A Friend?

Men of the Bible Series - I hope you know what you are doing.

Job 16:1-6  Then Job spoke again: “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking?

I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief. Instead, I suffer if I defend myself, and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak.

Job is in bad shape and is in great need of relief from the pain and mental anguish that he is enduring. So Eliphaz, Zophar and Bildad take Job on as a project, after-all they are smart men and they can probably see a problem in Job's life that he cannot see for himself.

The debate with Job and his friends about the suffering took the same line of thinking that debates commonly take, which is to accuse each others good sense, their wisdom, or their behavior. There must be something that God is holding over Job's head that Job is afraid to admit, we all know that those who are truly good are never entirely forsaken by God, so Job needs to confess and get on with the good life, right?

We do not understand why we have to live through such a broken world full of sin and suffering, we have to ask ourselves why God allows the madness to go on, our understanding is limited. The answers are not simple and we cannot insist that we are so in control of life that we should be able to fix all of our bad circumstances.
"Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time? One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow. Remember, earth is not heaven!"
-Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life
Lord, help us to remember that you are in control and that some of the things that bring pain are not things that we brought upon ourselves but they come from you for a greater purpose.

You might like to read: Men of the Bible blog series.