Questions & Observations
O. (Job 5:1-27) It seems that Eliphaz wants Job to cry out to God and question his intentions. (I, Rob, would add that I think what Eliphaz is trying to do here is convince Job that he is being disciplined by God — which in Eliphaz’s mind is a good thing — and Job needs to accept God’s discipline and repent of his sin. Don’t forget, WE know Job hasn’t sinned, but his friends do not — their responses will remain trying to talk Job into confession the sin they assume he has.)
Q. (Job 6:1-7:5): Job is basically saying that he has every right to complain, but how dare anyone question the ways of the Lord. Just because he is speaking out about his pain, does not mean that he has lost faith in the Lord. Is there anything else we should get from this passage?
A. Job’s response is pretty steadfast throughout these passages: basically he is saying “I haven’t done anything wrong, so I have no need to repent. I have no idea why God is doing this.” He is defending God, but he is also in this section responding to his friend by saying that his advice is not helpful, but is just twisting the knife that Job has already received from God. Job is saying that not only has God wounded him with His arrows (v. 4), but now his friends are making it worse. One of my commentaries noted that the saltless food Job refers to in v. 6-7 is his way of saying that the “food” (words) his friends are bringing him are tasteless and useless — he refuses to “eat” them.
Q. (Job 6:1-7:5): Does anyone ever feel like when they complain, that you feel an immediate sinking and shameful feeling? Sometimes, I look for someone to complain to who will give me affirmation and not make me feel like a loser. The older I get, the harder those people are to find. I guess they have figured out too that complaining doesn’t do any good and they don’t want to hear it either. Does the Bible talk about complaining? Is it OK to, sometimes OK or never OK?
A. While it certainly can feel good to get some things off of our chest when we are genuinely frustrated by life, the Bible definitely warns about grumbling and complaining, notably in Philippians 2:14 and Ephesians 4:29. To me, there is a clear line between talking to someone who cares about us (privately if possible) about our circumstances or the pain we have in life and being a person whose lives to complain about every little thing. People like that are no fun to be around, and that is especially frustrating if they are Christians. Christians who complain (as a habit — we all do it some), I think, have missed the point of the joy and blessing that God provides: if all you see is negative, then I would ask how much you have really let the message of the gospel change your heart. If you want a good collection of verses on why grumbling and complaining is not a good lifestyle, go here: (http://www.openbible.info/topics/complaining)
O. (7:17-21): How boldly and eloquently Job accuses God. Job understands that God is the Creator and doesn’t question that, he simply cries out, “Why me?” I think we can all relate to Job in this passage. I look forward to God’s magnificent response! But first we hear from two more of Job’s friends who say their piece. Stay tuned!
P.S. Is anyone feeling encouraged by Job’s faithfulness … and frustration? His endurance and steadfastness have made me feel happily emboldened.