Stop Blowing Hot Air

Rich Rockwood

READ : Job 15:1-13

But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God. (v. 4 NIV)

Imagine yourself opening a card from a deeply religious friend three days after his visit to you in the hospital. He was so sure your illness was due to inadequate faith. You tried to hold your own against his onslaughts. You’d expected the card would at least offer support if not an apology. Instead he just attacked you one more time like Job’s false friends: “you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God.” He just had to get in the last word – at your expense.

Eliphaz now accuses Job of being nothing more than a windbag of self-righteousness. If Job were truly wise, he would acknowledge his friends’ wisdom and stop insisting that God has somehow wronged him. He is not the first man to suffer in this life. He ought to just close his mouth for a while.

This long conversation aimed at finding the root cause of suffering reveals the very human tendency to argue things out. The apostle Paul offered a better insight: “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know” (1 Cor. 8:1-2 NIV). Sometimes the fewest words speak the loudest. Someone sent me a card that included these words: “Love never ends.” They reminded me that love provides a bridge even over separation and suffering.

PRAYER

Creator God, in times of pain, show us your love.