A Lesson for Job’s Buds

A Lesson for Job’s Buds

Job 42:7-9 After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt-offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done.’ So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

Job’s friends had done a few things right to help him deal with his loss and grief. They came to him, listened to him, sat in silence with him, all good. But they spent many whole chapters of the book, each one in long speeches trying to convince Job to acknowledge, confess and repent of whatever was Job’s supposed sin that God was punishing him for. The point isn’t that Job had no sin, instead, Job simply did not believe that the God he loved and trusted would ever have engineered punitive, retributive justice against him. So, for all the speechifying of the three erroneous friend’s theologizing, the one thing they apparently never did was pray to God for Job. So, here at the end of the book, when Job had come to greater clarity about God and a still deeper trust in him, when God told Job the three friends had been wrong all along in what they had said about God, yet had never spoken/prayed to God for Job. Job now prays for them in their ignorance about God and their faithlessness in failing to pray for him. The two takeaways here for me, and perhaps for you, are that our misfortunes are never God-inflicted, and that our prayers for others are always more important than our speculative theologizing about them.
Pastor Bill

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.