Job 16

Job 16 has Job responding to his friends.  He reminds them that “I have heard many such things” during his lifetime – their words are not new or inspired.  All they gave him was the “conventional wisdom” explanation of an absolute relationship of cause and effect to make sense of his suffering.  You do something bad, you suffer.  If you stop doing the wrong things, life becomes good.  This isn’t the explanation in Job’s situation, since the cause and effect have nothing to do with his actions, but God’s larger purpose.

We can learn a lesson here on what not to do as a friend or someone coming to the assistance of others during difficult time.  These friends spoke from their place of understanding, which in Job’s case, was not accurate at all.  Their too-great confidence in their own wisdom made them unable to properly sympathize with Job.  We have to make sure we don’t speak truth in ways it doesn’t apply.  The Bible is always true.  God never changes.  But that doesn’t mean that there is one way to apply God’s truth to every person or situation.  We need to be Spirit led to do that well.

The bottom line here is that Job feels left alone and on his own.  He says “If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me”.  Job feels trapped.  He finds no support from his unsympathetic friends, but sitting in silence doesn’t make it better either. Nothing works and Job is feeling overwhelmed and worn out.  Job is beginning to discover the adversary he is facing.  It isn’t God, it is Satan.  He’s starting to discover that but the reality is he is wrestling with God as his salvation and Satan as his enemy.

Job’s not sure who the enemy is here, he only knows he is losing the battle.  He waxes poetically about the struggle he is facing, yet even through all the list of suffering, he returns to these words.  “Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high”.  He recognizes at the end of the day his vindication will come from God who is his advocate in heaven.  He knows that God is on his side and will come to his defense.  The same is true for us.  Christ will come to our defense if we have a relationship with Him.  We may come to heavens gate a sinner, but Jesus will stand beside us and take away our guilt and shame.

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