January 10, 2017. Job 24-28.
And the drama continues. Job is a broken man seeking to understand why he is suffering under the hand of God. Adding to his great perplexities and pain are his so-called friends who have yet to give him adequate advice or comfort. Instead, they add to his questions because their assessment of his situation is completely wrong. Job is growing more irritated with these “counselors” and their very simplistic view of the way things work in the spiritual realm. In fact, by this point in the Book of Job the three who think they have the answers to Job’s suffering are starting to wind down and run out of things to say.
Job has had enough and chides Bildad for speaking without wisdom. (notice the sarcasm in his words)
What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
We have all heard the saying or varieties thereof, “Do not pass judgment until you have walked in another man’s shoes.” From reading the Book of Job, we can see that even walking in another’s shoes may not give you any additional insight at all! Here is Job “in his own shoes” lamenting that even he does not understand what is happening to him. I learned an important lesson from a wise friend a few years ago that has helped me to hold my judgment on people and situations: No man knows all there is to know of a matter. This truth is borne out in the life of Job.
Had Job’s ‘friend’s offered him comfort and understanding and prayer rather than judgment and advice, the Book of Job might have been a much shorter book. In Job’s concluding words to his friends in this section, he tells them where he will find his answers: God’s wisdom.
Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds in the sky. Destruction and Death say, “Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells,
for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters,
when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm,
then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it.
And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”
There is great comfort for us in these verses. Although we may not know why bad things sometimes befall us, we can be assured of this: God knows. And God has shown us how to live through adversity; by trusting Him and submitting to His plan.