Today Job says “How long will you torment my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times you have reproached me.” Job’s friends’ further attempts at explaining Job’s suffering only adds more pain to Job.
Later in the Story, Jesus’ half-brother James will give us some good advice on how to respond to ones suffering – “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms…Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:13,16). Praying for Job would be way more beneficial than trying to reason or rationalize the suffering that is sometimes unexplainable. But that’s not the approach that Job’s friends took. Their words just lead to further pain in their already hurting friend’s life.
Job goes on to say “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another, How my heart yearns within me!” At this point in Job’s life, could Job have known that his words would be written in a book that last forever? A book that we can read today and learn more about the Lord, the spiritual realm, Satan, suffering, waiting on God, origin of righteousness, etc…could Job of known that? No. But what he did know is that the day would come when his suffering would end and he would be face to face with the Lord. And we can have that same assurance because at the end of this Story, in the book of Revelation, God is going to tell us that one day we too will stand before the Lord and our faith will become sight – “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). But in the meantime, we must trust the Lord with our pain and suffering just like Job. I’m sure Job couldn’t even imagine the magnitude of the impact that his life would have on the world…but from Job’s story we can see that God wastes nothing and He uses all things for good and His glory.
The Lord is eventually going to appear before these men…and guess what?? God is going to tell Job to pray for his friends so that they may be healed, just as James said. But first, Eliphaz feels like he should list out for Job all the possible ways he has sinned resulting in his afflictions. 🙄 That’s up tomorrow, so keep reading.