One morning last week I was reading my NIV Life Application Bible and I came across Job Ch. 4. There were some pretty important things that I learned from Job Ch. 4 and I would really like to share them with you all so here it goes.
As we know, Job experienced some very trying times. As you may also know you cannot mention Job without also tagging along his friends. Oh Job and his friends. Job had a friend in particular named Eliphaz – Eliphaz the Temanite. And oh Eliphaz was off the chain. Hear me out.
Job in the midst of all his suffering probably figured that he could rely on his friends for comfort and encouragement but in fact he received the complete opposite. Eliphaz said, the following things to Job in vs. 7-8, “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.”
In other words Eliphaz makes an assumption that Job was suffering only because of something he had to have done. He believed there was some sin Job committed because otherwise why would he be suffering? WOW! Thanks Eliphaz! I can only imagine how I would feel if I was Job. I would be heated and then very hurt and insulted by the words of my “friend.”
On that note, we[Christians] do not suffer always as a result of sin. Sin does not equal automatic suffering. “Good” and “innocent” people do indeed suffer. I mean if you think about it Jesus was surely “good” and “innocent” but he suffered much persecution. We see evidence of this throughout the gospels. In addition, 1 Peter ch. 2:20-23 addresses Christian suffering.
“But how is it to
credit if you receive a beating
for doing wrong and endure it?
So as you can see we will even suffer for doing good. It’s apart of our Christian walk. Jesus endured it and he will give us strength to endure as well.
After accusing Job of sinning, Eliphaz then goes on to telling Job about this secret revelation, he claims he received from the Lord in vs. 12-16. He starts by saying, “A word was secretly brought to me.” This secret revelation is summed up in vs. 17 which says, “Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?”
There are two things I would like to highlight from the above mentioned verses. First – check your friends. They may be holier-than-thou but they make mistakes too. Do not just take peoples word. Instead go to God for yourself. I don’t care how big their ministry is, how close a friend or relative they are, or how many likes and followers they have on social media. Seek the Lord for yourself. He will confirm or deny their claims in due time.
My life application Bible breaks vs. 17 down by saying that on the surface Eliphaz is correct – no mortal is greater than God. However, Eliphaz then decides to add a little flavor by adding his own words and opinions. This is where I would like to pause and elaborate. Use caution when expressing your own opinions! Make sure what you say about God and his word is root in the word. Just because it “sounds good” doesn’t mean you should say it. Do not begin with a portion of God’s truth and then break off into your own tagent. This is hard to do especially when we are on a roll and speaking in front of a crowd but its not about you. So if you feel a Eliphaz moment coming on zip it.
Now I’m not trying to bully Mr. Eliphaz but instead I want us to learn from Eliphaz and his mistakes. Most of the time, just like Eliphaz we too have very good intentions but often times we too make mistakes. We should use this story to better ourselves. Let’s not make fals assumptions about others based on our own limited experiences. Make sure we aren’t asking all them questions, making statements and assumin’ but instead turn things over to God in prayer.
I started a ministry for women titled, She is Set Apart. We share stories of women who have come to realize that they are Set Apart. We are currently looking for women to share their stories and we would love to hear YOUR story. Has there been something in your past or in your life that you've once been afraid of sharing with others but have learned to embrace because you know that it has set you apart and made you unique? If so we want to know and we want to share it with other women. Why? - Because other women can benefit greatly from hearing your story. There are women who can relate to your story and are still in bondage because they haven't learned to embrace their uniqueness. Your story could be their light. God can use your story to liberate them. Your story can help them realize that they are set apart. Your story matters and it is valuable and powerful.
If you would like to share your story with us to be put on our website please email us - SheisSetApart@gmail.com
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