Job’s Second Reply to Eliphaz

I heard Professor Bruce Waltke describe a Christian’s response to pain this way: We once rescued a wren from the claws of our cat. Though its wing was broken, the frightened bird struggled to escape my loving hands. Contrast this with my daughter’s recent trip to the doct … More

Pain

The exchange of insults between Job and his friends continues. These so-called friends are a great disappointment to Job. They told Job nothing new, and they were miserable comforters (vv. 1-2) . They compounded, rather than eased his troubles. He doesn’t really want their pity, but instead wants  them to share his point of view that an injustice has been done (vv. 3-5). He is saying, “I would have thought you would have been ashamed to speak as you have” (v. 3). Job goes on to tell them that if their situations were reversed, he could have given a little speech of condemnation against them (v. 4). We must remember, as the reader, that we know Job is right, because we have been let in on the exchange between God and Satan in the first two chapters. If we didn’t know anymore than the three friends know, we might say things similar to what they said.

Job calls attention to his pathetic situation in spite of his innocence (vv. 6-17). Job accused God of grabbing him by the neck like a beast and crushing him (v. 9). Job was again wrong in attributing hostility to God. He could not understand why he was in such torment when he was not a terrible person. Following his denial of guilt, he called upon his heavenly witness to vindicate him (vv. 18-19). Since his friends scoffed at him Job turned to God, hoping that He would take up his cause and argue (vv. 20-21). Job’s time on earth was growing short, so He would need to decide quickly (v. 22). Job’s death was imminent.

Application

Job’s words tell me how to be a better counselor.

  1. Don’t talk for the sake of talking.
  2. Don’t preach sermons by giving pat answers.
  3. Don’t accuse or criticize.
  4. Try to put myself in the other person’s place.

Job 16:1-22 (English Standard Version)


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