March 25, 2021 – Job 22-31
Well, Job’s friends are back at it again. Eliphaz has now tripled down, and abandoned all subtlety. He does not mince his own words, and he doesn’t consider Job’s previous pleas of innocence and cries for mercy. Instead, he begins to accuse Job of a litany of sins with no cause other than the assumption that the accusations must be true, or else God would not have punished Job in the manner that Eliphaz believes him to have done. Eliphaz’ final piece of advice to Job is to repent, so that he could be restored. However, his primary argument is based off of the premise that Job’s situation is his fault, and that Job’s primary motivation is an earthly restoration. I find it notable that Job chooses not to immediately refute the baseless accusations leveled against him (though he would refute them all in chapter 29), but instead expresses a longing to once again be at peace with God as he was previously. He wants an opportunity to stand before God and prove his innocence. A perilous statement to make for most, but considering the context Job is justified in doing so. He then once again refutes his friends statements about the innocent not suffering, and lists in great detail how the wicked often do not see a punishment that is visible in this life.
Bildad is then so frustrated that he responds for 6 verses only, his response Is correct in theory, but once again contextually rife with false assumptions. To summarize, He tells Job that God is good, and man is evil. Thusly, Job would have no moral leg to stand on if he did try to stand before God. This isn’t a new argument to the book of Job, but it once again allows Job to proclaim his innocence, and ends the discussion of Job and his would be friends, or at least it ends once Job finishes his final pleas.
Throughout the book up until this point, we have seen baseless accusations, and faulty logic thrown out time and time again by the three friends. And each time Job has refuted their arguments with both Godly wisdom, and observable truths. But they have simply refused to listen to Job. They had made up their mind, and they would not be swayed. Believing themselves to be in the right, they refused to listen to the wisdom and logic that Job used in his counter-arguments where he time and time again spoke of his innocence before God. Did Job’s friends become angry because he would not listen to God, or was it because he would not listen to them?
How often do we dig our heels into an opinion that sounds Holy, but is actually rooted in Worldly logic? We will always be affected by non-biblical world-views, it’s an inevitable reality of living in a broken world, but it is important to root not just our hearts, but our minds, in the solid rock of God’s word. There are many topics in the social limelight of our modern world where both Godly wisdom and objective truths clash with mainstream thinking. And it is as important as ever that Christians be able to defend God’s word, and give an argument to those that would oppose truth. But we must be careful that when we would defend truth, we do so in a way that is true itself.