Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
“If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
But who can keep from speaking?
Think how you have instructed many,
how you have strengthened feeble hands.
Your words have supported those who stumbled;
you have strengthened faltering knees.
But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged;
it strikes you, and you are dismayed.
Should not your piety be your confidence
and your blameless ways your hope?
“Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished?
Where were the upright ever destroyed?
As I have observed, those who plow evil
and those who sow trouble reap it.
– Job 4:1-8
After Job’s emotional outcry, Eliphaz responds with a harsh rebuke. Keep in mind, both men have embraced a wrong idea regarding the origin of suffering. In their minds, God blesses those who do right and punishes those who do wrong. This performance driven theology is very attractive to our sinful nature. Job must have experienced a tremendous internal struggle as his misguided theology was put to the test. Eliphaz tells Job that he must confess and repent of whatever sin is causing God to punish him. In the past, people had come to Job for help. No doubt Job had counseled others the same way. Basically, Eliphaz is telling Job to listen to his own advice. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
THE BIG QUESTION
Often we try and put God in a theological box that makes sense to us. Our finite minds struggle to understand the character and ways of God. When trouble comes our way, and it will (John 16:33), our preconceived ideas about God are challenged. When, all of a sudden, God does not fit into our box, we experience a crisis of belief. Have you put God in one of these boxes? Are you struggling to understand God’s ways? How can you come to know and trust in His character even when life doesn’t make sense?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence reflecting on what you have learned.