JANUARY 20 READINGS…Job 5:1-7:21
In today’s readings we see Job’s “friend”, Eliphaz continues to pontificate his personal view of who God is, and how God works. If Job will just get right with God…God will get right with Job. Job is getting what he deserves, because there is some unconfessed sin in his life, and God is paying him back for that sin. This is Eliphaz’s words of “hope” and “comfort” to Job. Eliphaz reminds me of the self-righteous Pharisees of Jesus’ time, and the self-righteous “Pharisees” of our day. “Do the right thing, and God will do the right thing for you.” “There must be some sin in your life…or you would not be going through such trouble”. These empty platitudes offered by so many Christians are like offering a thirsty man a drink of water that is filled with poison. These words do not refresh the spirit, rather they kill the spirit. Eliphaz had all the right clichés…but he did not have a genuine understanding of God’s truth.
Job, as you can imagine is filled with grief…even to the point of wanting to die. Can a child of God really get in the state of mind and being? Yes, of course we can. We are not immune to grief, extreme sorrow, and even depression. Sometimes life comes crashing down on us and we feel like we have no where to turn. We feel abandoned, even by God. This is how Job was feeling, and who can blame him, considering what he has been through. Theologically we know that we are never abandoned by God…but life, at times, can sure make us feel that way. When we are ministering to friends, family, or fellow Christians who are walking through such times, we need to be careful not to fall into the trap of offering empty words. Sometimes words can get in the way of meeting someone’s need in the time of their great grief. Like Job, many Christians know what the truth of God’s love, care, and presence are…they just are overwhelmed with their situation. They don’t need reminded from a self-righteous brother or sister…they need to be loved and cared for.
What in today’s readings touched your heart? Is there a truth or perspective that you gleaned from today’s readings? Please share your insight.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Job 8:1-11:20.