Today’s Readings: Job 15 and 2 Corinthians 1:8-24
We all need spiritually mature people in our life, especially when we are going through difficult and challenging times. With Job, we’ve journeyed so far through his grief and lamenting; a shattered life after having lived a Godly life, finding the grief too much to bear. He is bitter and angry as Eliphaz now speaks into his life.
Although harsh, it would seem that Eliphaz’s direct words are really meant to be words of encouragement; words in an attempt to direct Job’s thoughts to that of God and his authority.
Eliphaz attempts to help Job understand that irrespective of what fault it was that caused all his suffering, the question is now an issue of Job’s behaviour; his reaction to the situation; the issue of how his words; his tongue are leading him into sin.
But you undermine piety and hinder devotion to God. Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty. Job 15:4-5
Why has your heart carried you away, and why do your eyes flash, so that you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth? Job 15: 12-13
He challenges Job’s logic and knowledge; his lack of understanding that even the most faultless person is still sinful in God’s eyes.
What is man, that he could be pure, or one born of women, that he could be righteous? If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes, how much less man … Job 15:14-15
David through the Psalms would often cry out to God and question God, but he never questioned his authority. For David, even in the most bitter and challenging of times, he would pour out his lament before the Lord, but could still acknowledge God’s glory. (read all of Psalm 102)
But you O Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. Psalm 102:12
And as we read Paul’s words to the Corinthians we can again be encouraged by the importance of wise words. During his ministry in Asia, Paul was under extreme hardship and suffering that he despaired of life.
We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
It’s often in the most challenging of times, we truly realise our reliance on God. Paul goes on to remind us of the importance of this; the importance of turning to God rather than from God; a reminder that with God, all things are possible. If he delivered us from death, he can deliver us from anything.
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us … 2 Corinthians 1:10
Gracious and loving Father, I thank you for the spiritually mature brothers and sisters in Christ you have brought into my life. Help me to continue to value their friendship and our relationship, such that in difficult and challenging times, they have the boldness to speak, and I have the wisdom to listen to their words of discipline and encouragement. Amen