CAREFULLY EVALUATE EXPLANATIONS
Job 3:1-14:22 June 11 2006
Job rejected the explanation of his friends. He
called them worthless physicians who were unable
to give a proper diagnosis and branded their counsel
as worthless as ashes. Job asked God to reveal to
him any sin in his life , including any he might have
committed in his youth. He lamented that the future
looked hopeless and asked God to give him some
1. Flawed Appeal To Justice (Job 4:6-7 ; 6:2-3,24)
Job 4:6 Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the
integrity of your ways your hope? 4:7 â€œThink now, who
that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the
upright cut off? 6:2 â€œO that my vexation were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances! 6:3 For then it
would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my
words have been rash. 6:24 â€œTeach me, and I will be
silent; make me understand how I have gone wrong.
Eliphaz had assumed that Job was guilty until
proven innocent, but failed to offer any specific
charges. Job declared that he was not aware of
having done wrong and asked Eliphaz to prove his
case, saying that he could handle specific charges,
however painful (6:25) . Job pressed Eliphaz to look
carefully at his (Job’s) life and to point out any
injustices he had committed (6:28-30).
2. Flawed Appeal To Tradition (Job 8:4-8)
Job 8:4 If your children sinned against him, he delivered
them into the power of their transgression. 8:5 If you will
seek God and make supplication to the Almighty, 8:6 if you
are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for
you and restore to you your rightful place. 8:7 Though your
beginning was small, your latter days will be very great. 8:8
â€œFor inquire now of bygone generations, and consider what
their ancestors have found;
Bildad urged Job to ask or to learn from the discoveries
of previous generations. He was certain that the wisdom
of the past supported the advice he had given Job. Bildad
of the past supported the advice he had had given Job.
Bildad was right that their fathers had discovered the
principle that God blessed righteous living and punished
evil. However. that did not mean that Job’s suffering was
a direct result of specific sins.
3. Flawed Appeal To Logic (Job 11:6b,13-15; 13:4)
Job 11:6b Know then that God exacts of you less than your
guilt deserves. 11:13 â€œIf you direct your heart rightly, you
will stretch out your hands toward him. 11:14 If iniquity is
in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness reside
in your tents. 11:15 Surely then you will lift up your face
without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear. 13:4
As for you, you whitewash with lies; all of you are worthless
We must recognize that logical explanations about the
causes and uses of human suffering can be flawed because
no one can know all the facts of any particular case. In most
cases, it is wiser to remain silent (Prov.17:27-28) than to
risk making a bad situation worse.
4. Flawed Appeal To God (Job 13:15,18,23-24)
Job 13:15 See, he will kill me; I have no hope; but I will defend
my ways to his face. 13:18 I have indeed prepared my case; I
know that I shall be vindicated. 13:23 How many are my
iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my
sin. 13:24 Why do you hide your face, and count me as your enemy?
Job told his friend to ” pay close attention” to what he had to
say (13:17). He maintained his innocence and expressed his
longing to have his case tried before God. He had carefully
organized and prepared his case and was ready to present it
before the court of haven – certain that he would be vindicated.
Job said that if anyone could “indict” him he was prepared to
“be silent and die” (13:19).
Just as words can hurt, they can also help . Proverbs 16:24 states, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body”. Hurting people can benefit from words pleasantly orchestrated into symphonies of encouragement.