September 29, 2014
READ: Job 32:1-22
I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments (v.11).
Elihu was upset. As he listened to the conversation between a suffering man and three of his friends, he became more and more angry (Job 32:2-3).
“Job, you are being punished for your sins!” “No, I’m innocent. God is treating me unjustly.” “Job, repent. God will not reject a blameless man.” “Whatever happens, I will be found guilty. So what’s the use of trying?” “Job, you deserve worse. Be thankful that you didn’t get what you deserve.” “What miserable comforters you are!”
The conversation went back and forth. At long last, they pursed their lips in annoyance at one another. What’s the point of saying more! There’s no common ground of understanding whatsoever. Job could see nothing wrong in himself; and they could see nothing right in Job.
The friends were wrong—wrong in their notions about God and wrong in their method of dealing with Job. And God was angry with them (ch. 42). But their wrongs did not make Job right.
Author Ray Stedman wrote, “Job, like the friends, had a narrow, limited theology which did not include room for God’s way beyond the normal thinking of men.” So Elihu reminded Job, “God is greater than any human being” (33:12). Behind every act of God is a loving heart. For God always acts in accordance with His compassionate nature. And though we might not think so, it’s often we who are doing the misjudging.
Elihu gives us a few lessons on how we can comfort those in distress. Firstly, we need to be quick to listen and slow to speak (32:11-12). Secondly, if we want to help others, we need to store up God’s Word in our heart. From that reservoir of biblical wisdom we’ll then be able to dispense cups of grace as the Holy Spirit prompts us (v.18).
—Poh Fang Chia
365-day plan› Matthew 28:8-15
Read Colossians 3:16-17 to see how to become a better friend and a true comforter.
Does the advice you normally dispense reflect a right view of God, or would you say your theology needs some work? How can you begin to store up God’s Word in your life today?