(Today's post by Keith Senator)
Job was continually berated from his friends. In Job chapters 15-17, we see some various ideas about God surface that are very interesting. In fact, I see some of these ideas still around today. In chapter 15, Eliphaz connects the events in Job's life as direct correlation to Job being evil. When Job said that evil people may have good lives, Eliphaz could not accept it. Interesting. Do you tend to think that people who are Christian should have trouble free lives as a result of their obedience? Yeah, this idea is still with us.
Eliphaz also believed that a person's spirit dies when a person dies. The only hope was passing on good things to your kids. This is not a Biblical teaching for sure. This is also a familiar idea in today's world. Though they may not consider themselves Christians.
In chapter 16, Job’s friends wanted to help him. They never understood the real reasons for Job’s problems. And the friends did not believe that Job was a good man. So they blamed Job, although Job was innocent. I have advised friends in the past and base my attitude on my own presuppositions. I can relate to this.
Job described his troubles. He blamed his enemy for these troubles. Job thought that God caused these troubles. He did not know that the devil was responsible. But Job was very careful about his words. He knew that he should always respect God. So Job did not want to accuse God unfairly. And Job did not want to blame God. So Job only mentioned God once. Job said that his enemy attacked him like a wild animal.
Job thought that God was attacking him. But Job also realized that wicked people caused his troubles. So, in verse 11, Job said that God allowed these wicked people to attack Job. Job’s troubles seemed to prove that Job was guilty. Job’s friends believed this. But the Bible does not teach this idea. Job was sure that he was innocent. And God agreed, as we saw earlier.
He knew that God does many good things. So Job thought that God might also do some bad things. God had given many good things to Job. So God could take these things away. But Job believed that God would still deserve honor. And Job would continue to praise God, whatever happened. Job had this attitude because he was a genuine servant of God. But Job’s ideas were not all correct. God is our father in heaven. He looks after us. Ordinary fathers look after their children. But God is much better than a human father. God is kind and generous. God does not do evil things. God loves us.
In chapter 17, Job thought that he was dying. His friends were with him. But they did not speak kind words to him. Instead, they accused him of many evil deeds. But Job still respected God. And Job still trusted God. So Job asked God for help. In fact, God did not cause Job’s problems. The devil was responsible for Job’s troubles.
As Job spoke about other good people, he himself felt more confident. He was not afraid of his friends’ speeches. He knew that they supposed him to be an evil man. So he told them to speak their opinions clearly. He felt ready to reply. Job accused his friends. They said that his life would get better. But Job’s troubles were real troubles. Job expected to die soon. Job simply wanted to prove that he was innocent. He wanted to show that he did not deserve these troubles.