Monday, August 25, 2008

Job fights back

Started reading the book of Job again.

I like how he, in his most trying time, still defends himself. Job has just lost everything. His three friends have just come over to "to sympathize with him and comfort him," and "they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great."

If they had stopped there, they would have acted appropriately. But Eliphaz thought, like so many, that he needed to preach Job a little sermon. He starts out (ch 4) by reminding Job how Job used to be an encourager to others. But now Job is not toughing it out as he has encouraged others to do. In fact, it has to be Job's fault for his misery.

But Job returns the discourse: He does not want (or need) a sermon; he's looking for understanding. And his "friends" are scared of trouble. In addition, Job did not want a problem solver.

Things could easily change in a moment's notice. I am not in the storm of life today. Tomorrow I maybe, we just never know. But from this vantage point of being outside of trouble and having been in a "situation" within the last year, I can say "sermons" are not the medicine for a hurting soul. No matter how true the content of the sermon may be, the timing of its delivery is so important. It may just need to wait. Besides, usually the "preacher" does not have all the facts anyway to compose his "message."