TEXT: JOB 4:1-21

  1. Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
  2. “ If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking?
  3. Surely you have instructed many, And you have strengthened weak hands.
  4. Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, And you have strengthened the feeble knees;
  5. But now it comes upon you, and you are weary; It touches you, and you are troubled.
  6. Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope?
    7.“Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?
  7. Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same.
  8. By the blast of God they perish, And by the breath of His anger they are consumed.
  9. The roaring of the lion, The voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken.
  10. The old lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
    12.“Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it.
  11. In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men,
  12. Fear came upon me, and trembling, Which made all my bones shake.
  13. Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my body stood up.
  14. It stood still, But I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; There was silence; Then I heard a voice saying:
    17.‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?
  15. If He puts no trust in His servants, If He charges His angels with error,
  16. How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before a moth?
  17. They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one regarding.
  18. Does not their own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom.’

Jobs three friends visited him to sympathize with and comfort him over the trouble that came upon him. When they saw his situation, they mourned with him and remained speechless for seven days and seven nights. Finally, Eliphaz, one of them, broke the silence and made certain assumptions: the innocent and upright do not have trouble (v.7); they that sow evil reap it (v.8); mortals cannot be innocent before God their maker (v.12).

In some cases of course, his assumptions may be true but not in Jobs case. To Eliphaz, Jobs suffering was as a result of his sins but the testimony of his life in verses 3-7 and Chapter 1:1 as a blameless man contradicts his assumptions.

Many a time, when brethren suffer as a result of sickness, horrible afflictions, etc., we quickly attribute such to sin. Though sin has a devastating effect, it is not responsible for every negative condition, as in the case of Job.

Let us therefore show brotherly affection to our troubled ones by praying for Gods mercy and intervention in their situations. Sometimes, costly assumptions are more painful than the trouble itself.

Father, use me always to bring succour to troubled hearts.

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