Archive for December 22nd, 2008

Job 5

Eliphaz gives Job a load of perspective in chapter 5.  He sort of set him up in the prior chapter, building some relationship and spending time in his situation.  And now, he gives Job a lesson in who God is from his experience.  Eliphaz shares his opinion about what Job should be thinking and feeling and doing….my experience is that when people are wrestling with a difficult situation….that may not be the best approach.  But Eliphaz goes at it with these words “if I were in your shoes”.  It is important that we try to put ourselves into the shoes of others, to understand and come into their situation as closely as we can.  But we have to be careful to remember that even when we attempt to do that, we truly can’t get there completely.  We will never totally understand where another person is in their relationship with God or with the circumstances they are in.  So we can’t make concrete assumptions based on what we think – it needs to be on what God directs us to do.  We can share the reality of who God is based on His Word and His nature as described in His Word.  That is the one constant we have to lean on.  But anything else is speculation on our part and we need to make sure we treat it as such.  Giving advice and counsel is a huge responsibility that often is taken far too flippantly, and it can impact others in a significant way.  Our counsel needs to be based on God’s truth, not our own opinion.

 

Eliphaz does state one truth that we should embrace, not because it is fun, but because it is true.  He tells Job “don’t despise the discipline of Almighty God”.  We are all going to have opportunity to face God’s discipline.  Scripture makes it clear that when we sin, there will be correction.  When we go off the tracks we will be put back on.  It may not be immediate, but God is in the business of making us holy and completing the work began in us.  We need to learn to embrace God’s discipline and correction, not fight it and continue to run in our own rebellious way.  God loves us, and we know at least in our heads that love requires us to correct those we love.  We can’t stand by idly while someone runs their life into the ground.  God won’t do that with us either.  He will work to bring us into maturity and create His holiness in us.  God loves us that much.  So we need to watch for those areas God is at work and join Him in them – learn from the correction – make life course corrections – and be grateful that He cares.  Doesn’t mean it is fun but it does mean He loves us.

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