The Unseen Contest Part 2
"Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold firm your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You are speaking as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we actually accept good from God but not accept adversity?” Despite all this, Job did not sin with his lips." Job 2:9-10
Chapter two of Job concludes by saying, "Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights, with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great." Therefore, the words that proceeded from Job in chapter three were a heart overwhelmed by suffering.
"Afterward, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth." Job 3:1 After Eliphaz reproves Job in chapters four and five, Job responds in chapter six by saying, “Oh, if only my grief were actually weighed and laid in the balances together with my disaster! “For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas; For that reason, my words have been rash. “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, My spirit drinks their poison;
The terrors of God line up against me."
It is important to understand the degree of grief from which Job is speaking, which is "friends" completely ignore, pull out the harshest words they could find, and become instruments of further pain and a stumbling block to job not knowing at all heart hardening stumbling blocks they would become. After 29 chapters of brutal dialogue between Job and his three friends, we read the following words. "Then these three men stopped answering Job because he was righteous in his own eyes." Job 32:1.
It becomes so vitally important the way we approach people living with grief. I remember going through circumstances devastating to my mind, emotions, and soul. It was hard to breathe for a time until a friend who had been through the same difficulty entered the room. He didn't even have to say anything because I knew he understood.
On the other hand, as already mentioned, each of us is responsible for how we respond to how others treat us. Nevertheless, there are very harsh warnings for those who cast a stumbling block in their brothers' way. It is not clear how God ultimately dealt with Job's friends, but so far as the story is concerned, it was only when they offered sacrifices as the Lord commanded that God accepted Job. Job needed to forgive, but again we do not know the ending of his friends.
"It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends because you have not spoken of Me what is trustworthy, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so as not to do with you as your foolishness deserves because you have not spoken of Me what is trustworthy, as My servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job." Job 42:7-9
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