Our reading begins with the second speech Eliphaz says to Job. He has some pretty strong opinions regarding what Job said earlier. In the early verses he regards Job's words as being full of hot air, deceitful, and crafty. In the verses to follow, Eliphaz continues with some rhetorical questions to Job, indicating that Job is arrogant.
Eliphaz is convinced that righteous people prosper and wicked people do not. He believes that Job must be a very bad man secretly, in order for these problems of this magnitude to occur. He is just totally unaware of any other possible scenario that Job could find himself experiencing this kind of difficulty.
How am I at assisting others in time of their need? Am I quick to judge, do I have an open ear and mind? Do I come along side them trying to build them up, or try to find their fault in order to provide reason for their circumstance?
In chapter 16, Job responds once again and in verse 2 he calls them "miserable comforters". I am not sure if Eliphaz thought he was actually helping, or that he was motivated to sincerely comfort Job, but obviously he was not being very effective.
It's one thing to go through the motions and "check" it's done. It's another thing to be effective.
"But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief." Job 16:5
This is what Job needs at this time, and he tells Eliphaz that if the situation was reversed that this is what he would be offering him.
Job then continues to list off many of his feelings and outcomes from his misfortunes:
-worn out and devastated entire household (vs 7),
-gauntness (vs 8),
-men mock him, strike him (vs 10),
-left in the hands of the wicked (vs 11),
-feels shattered, crushed, and made a target (vs 12),
-merciless (vs 13),
-face is red from weeping, shadowed eyes (vs 16)
What is impressive, is his reaction to all this in verse 17 - "yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure."
Despite all that has gone wrong, and all the misery that he has had to endure, Job remains blameless and upright! What an example he is for me. It is much easier to do the opposite, but Job does not.
We will all endure pain of some kind at some point in our lives. How we respond to it, shows our true character. God told Satan that Job was a blameless and upright man, and he emulated that in our reading today with his attitude.
Dear Lord, as difficult situations come my way, I pray that I will remember the story of Job and the example that he is. I also pray that I would understand that I cannot do anything on my own, but that I would call on You to provide me with the strength and adversity to overcome. I pray that I will place my faith in You, knowing that You are in control. Amen.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Job 18-20