Bible in a Year – Day 155: Sad But True
It’s amazing to read all the wonderful little nuggets of truth found in the back and forth between Job and his friends. Job points out how he hasn’t done anything wrong, or at least not as bad as some others, but that he feels like he’s being punished by God. His friends then knock him off his high horse by pointing out that he can’t be quite as righteous as he claims to be.
Job then points out that they aren’t perfect either and that any thoughts about God or wisdom that they may share are not necessarily new ideas – have they considered that he might have thought of those things, too? Each man spouts out a combination of truth (about himself and God), frustration (about the other one and/or God) and accusation.
But that’s what we tend to do in times of crisis, don’t we? We look to place blame somewhere while also trying to find healing and relief. Sometimes we point a finger at someone and simultaneously beg them to help. As Job reaches out to his friends for help and then tells them that they are pretty much useless, he does what you and I tend to do. He is flailing at this point. He is lost at sea.
His friends, who are genuinely trying to help him in whatever ways they can think of, only manage to make his situation worse. Again, this kind of behavior still happens today. When a crisis or tragedy comes, sometimes our best attempts to comfort or help only serve to further injure. The words that we manage to form don’t always come out the way we would like. We try to pour water on the fire, but accidentally pick up the gas can instead.
I’m reminded as I read this interchange about the incredible power of words. After all, what we are reading here is just a man talking with his friends. They aren’t physically harming him. He isn’t physically assaulting them. Neither is having any kind of interaction with God. They are just speaking words back and forth and we can feel the tension rising. Words, the Bible teaches, have the power to build up or to tear down. I wonder which one I do more of on a daily basis.
- TED Talk Tuesday: In Search of the Man Who Broke My Neck
- Bible in a Year – Day 313: A Matter of Life & Death
- Bible in a Year – Day 310: Going Where People Are
- Bible in a Year – Day 309: Taboo
- Bible in a Year – Day 289: Gadarenes Part 2
- Bible in a Year – Day 288: Healing Time*
- Bible in a Year – Day 280: Jesus Interrupted
- Bible in a Year – Day 225: Misplaced Faith
- Bible in a Year – Day 207: Meaningless or Not?
- Bible in a Year – Day 201: The Value of Truth