Day 4

Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

from the Job reading plan


Job 6:1-30, Job 7:1-21, Romans 8:18–25

BY Lisa Harper

One of my favorite lecture series from my first seminary experience (I’ve recently begun a second seminary adventure at the “mature” age of 55!) was about having a “high view” of God. We had lively discussions in class regarding how, in our modern era’s quest to make the gospel relevant, we’ve all but lost the kind of deep reverence prophets like Isaiah and psalmists like David displayed toward God. In our bumper-sticker theology, “God is my copilot” culture, we’ve unwittingly minimized the omniscience and omnipotence of the Alpha and Omega in an attempt to make Him more accessible.

I remember being so convicted during those classes, realizing I didn’t revere God the way I should. I committed to being more circumspect in how I addressed Him in prayer and even how I carried His Word, holding my Bible as a precious treasure instead of carelessly shoving it into a suitcase or tossing it into the back seat of the car. I still hold to those convictions.

However, as I look back over my walk of faith in the 20-plus years since that class, it’s clear I’ve often overcorrected, swinging into the opposite side of the doctrinal ditch. I didn’t always have the spiritual maturity to understand that having a high view of God doesn’t mean we need to have a degrading view of ourselves. Of course, humans are wicked and depraved apart from divine grace, but after we put our faith and hope in Jesus Christ, we’re allowed to shrug into His robes of righteousness, knowing we have been adopted into the family of God as full heirs! (Romans 8:14–17). A high view of God should open believers’ hearts and minds to what our heavenly Father says about us, His beloved children.

Now, if we give Job’s three friends a big benefit of doubt, we can assume they had mostly good intentions when they delivered their self-righteous lectures. However, like a young seminarian armed with more head knowledge than spiritual maturity, their arrows missed the mark by a country mile!

Job understands the situation well. He says, “What strength do I have, that I should continue to hope? What is my future, that I should be patient?… Since I cannot help myself, the hope for success has been banished from me” (6:11,13). Job cannot change his bleak situation, despite his innocence.

But that’s the point. Job’s friends recognized the frailty of humanity and our propensity to sin, but their view of God is way too small. Without the context of God’s redemptive grace, we still make everything about us! In Romans 8, Paul points to the future, complete redemption of all creation as our hope in the midst of present suffering. Though we are currently “subject to futility,” all things will one day be fully “set free from the bondage” into “glorious freedom” (Romans 8:20). This is our hope.

“Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24–25).

Job’s friends got the frailty of humanity part right, but their concept of God’s attention missed His compassionate heart. The Lord was Job’s only hope, just as He is ours. With Christ, our mere humanity is transformed into glory befitting children of God, no matter what suffering we may be experiencing at the moment.

Editor’s Note: Devotional was edited at 11:00 am on 3/14/19.

 

Post Comments (42)

42 thoughts on "Job’s Reply to Eliphaz"

  1. Christina Currano says:

    I lost a lot of hope over the last few years but when I read Job I remember that there is always hope in the Lord. God can alway use our suffering for good. Though we are given more than we can handle He sustains us.

  2. Steph C says:

    Yes, I am sinful and frail. I walk away from God and choose my own way so often! But God. He redeemed me. He forgave me. He loves me. He has compassion on me. Psalm 103 – He knows we are dust but He loves us as a Father loves a dear child. He does not afflict us willingly. And He never leaves us. Even in the darkest valley He is there.

  3. Terrisa Stewart says:

    Remembering the redemptive grace promised us by our Heavenly Father is key to our journey. Not limiting our God helps us to find peace when we are suffering here on earth. We know that beyond this moment is still much that God has in store for us.

  4. Brenna Page says:

    This study is coinciding with another one I’m doing and Job 6 was also mentioned today. It mentioned how 6:26 says “Do you mean to correct what I say and treat my desperate words as wind?” This refers to Job’s desire to just be allowed to talk and express his hurt and pain. Often times, we don’t need advise or opinions; we just need someone to listen. I’m trying to picture myself sitting there with these four men and the vision of Job is breaking my heart. He’s still putting everything he has left in God’s hands, even with his friends telling him otherwise. He just needs to be comforted right now, not instructed on what he’s done wrong or what he should do about it. Another lesson for all of us: sometimes your opinion is not needed. Just listen.

  5. Ashley Thomas says:

    I was raised in a catholic household- reverence at church and to God was all I knew. I really struggled with my faith as a Catholic, even denying God’s existence as a teenager. However, I couldn’t handle, and still can’t for that matter, the lack of reverence at most non-denominational churches. Those services are what I call worshiptainment- they’re focused on entertaining the attendees rather than worshiping God. I finally went back to a denominational church- Presbyterian- where I attend a contemporary service. However, we’re not in the dark, there’s no smoke machines, and there’s enough reverence that I feel we all are truly worshiping our creator. We do have a band that plays contemporary songs, but all the focus is on God, not the performers. You can see the people sitting around you. You know God is in that house of worship. Reverence is important.

    1. Laura K says:

      Agreed!!

  6. Gina Glennon says:

    Patience…yes, the need to wait, with great hope and great patience.!

  7. Tasha Moore says:

    Very interesting on others opinions regarding Job’s reply, as well as the contrast between Job’s Friend and Paul. Defiantly a difference according to Lisa’s writings. Of course, I suppose there would be a huge difference in the two due to the couple of hundred years in between and the big obvious difference- Jesus!

  8. Mari V says:

    ROMANS 8:18 is what it out to me this morning. Our sufferings can not be compared to the day that we will all be in HIS glory. I can’t wait to meet you all someday.

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