The goal of the Christian life is to make it to the end of the age without turning from the Lord. How can we do this, and what assurance do we have that our Sabbath rest is worthwhile?
Job is not happy with how the Lord has treated him. You would think that Job would be rather content considering that the Lord has blessed him, and allowed him to enjoy a great life. However, now we hear why Job is so upset as he even uses the counselors own words to describe his suffering. Why would Job be so upset if he is merely using the counselors own words to describe his suffering?
Job is frustrated that the counselors will not see things the way that Job sees things. Job is frustrated that God will not see things the way that Job sees them. Job thinks that if God, the counselors, and wisdom would follow his lead than all would be well. If we are honest there are times when we might have this struggle or thought as well, but is it in line with the Word of God? What could be the issue in such thinking?
Joshua left God’s people in a good place as people who can find rest in the land. In many ways they were tasting a promised sabbath rest in the land that God had given them. The Lord has been merciful to His people and has given them judges to rule over them, to deliver them, and to provide some wise guidance. Judges records for us a tragic history of Israel continually sliding down away from the Lord, but the Lord still gives them a judge. What is the significance of Samson? How does he represent the current state of Israel?
Job has tried to reason with the men who have come to encourage him. However, in Job’s mind he is not gaining any traction. The counselors are still convinced that Job has unconfessed sin or a specific sin that warrants God’s punishment. The irony is that Job and the counselors are not in complete disagreement, but Job has been trying to tell the counselors that there is something wrong with the world as they know it. What is Job going to say to the Lord? What is the basis of Job’s trial?
We can learn a lot from tradition and from many who have gone before us. We can learn because they are people who have had struggles, setbacks, and experienced success like we have. We can learn how to cope in each of these situations from the generations before us. However, Job does not seem that persuaded by the generations who have gone before him. In fact, Job pretty much rebukes the counselors for listening to wisdom that is traditional for them. What is Job’s problem? Why does Job seem to doubt the credibility of wisdom and those who have gone before him?
Men have scheduled their time to meet with Job and encourage him. We have heard two of the counselors and now we have the opportunity to hear from a third counselor. The counselors have not successfully encouraged Job in the Gospel. Job is one who has claimed his own self-righteousness before the Lord claiming that he can hold God accountable. Is this new counselor going to be the voice of reason who lays out the gospel? Is there going to be someone who understands that Job is not fighting against God? Will this speech help Job understand that God is not His enemy, but the very strength of his life?
Job’s friends came together with the purpose to rally around him and encourage him. Eliphaz has not done a great job of helping Job as Eliphaz implied that Job deserved this suffering. Now, it is time for the second counselor to try. Will Bildad encourage Job? Is there something we can glean from Bildad as he tries to encourage Job?
We heard Job’s frustration of his life in this age. He is one who does not see the value or the purpose of his life right now. His speech is asking the Lord to blot him out of existence. This is not something that is appropriate or correct, and how are his friends going to encourage this man? We would think and hope that they would provide a counter point to Job’s previous speech. Eliphaz speaks up, he challenges Job’s speech, and is laying out his view of suffering. Is this view correct?
We can be very frustrated at times because it seems like the Lord is not hearing our prayers. We might be asking for something that we desire, but the Lord might not be giving us what we want. Why would the Lord withhold good things from his children? How can we find contentment in times of want? How can we have an attitude before the Lord that is pleasing and honorable to Him?