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October 10, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite . . .”—Job 42:7 (NKJV)
Job’s narrative centers on a man’s misunderstanding. There’s confusion on Job’s part at how God could allow him to suffer so badly. But then there are many false accusations from his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, who assume Job’s suffering was due to some specific and secret sin.
It’s bad enough that Job had suffered tragic losses, but then his friends added to it. Though initially well-intentioned, these friends allowed their natural minds to lead them to conclusions that were simply wrong, and (more importantly) misrepresented God.
What a difference God makes! He steps into the narrative and redirects everyone’s attention away from the circumstances and onto Himself. Interestingly, God doesn’t tell Job why he was suffering. Instead, God tells Job to focus on who He is. Job’s entire outlook is changed.
But then God turns His attention to Job’s friends, and He has some strong words for them: “My wrath is aroused against you [Eliphaz] and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, 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 him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (Job 42:7-8 NKJV).
God was keeping record of who said what and how it was wrong, and now He calls them out on it. He tells them they were wrong and Job was right . . . and gives them some instructions on how to make things right!
Imagine Job’s response: “Finally! Someone to defend me!” And how amazing that that Someone is God, who is without question the greatest defense Job or anyone else could ever have. God’s defense ends the argument then and there.
In life, we’re bound to be misunderstood, falsely accused, and put into situations where we feel compelled to defend ourselves. How much better, though, to focus on staying close to the Lord and allowing Him to be our defense! He can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and He will because He is a just defender of those who entrust themselves to Him.
DIG: How did Job’s friends compound his problems?
DISCOVER: What does God do for Job that Job couldn’t have done for himself? How should this affect your own efforts in life?
DO: If you are suffering today, read Job 42 and embrace the words of God to Job. Take Job’s example and put your focus on the Lord. Lean on Him, press into Him. If you know someone who is suffering, don’t try to solve their suffering or tell them why they’re suffering, point them to God. Encourage them to keep their eyes fixed on Him.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.