Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.
Such is the following passage
After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.”
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.
I suppose I need to give the reader some background to the passage.
Job had spent the last 40 some odd chapters suffering under the hand of God, asking questions of God and receiving, not answers from God, but difficult questions that Job could not answer.
It occurs to me that the questions Job was asking of God were not too hard for Him to answer, but it was not the place for the King to respond to His subject’s demands at this time.
Job 42, opens with Jobs repentance of the bitter heart he had nurtured, and his response of repentance (Job 42:6) brought about a self despising that would not be considered healthy in some parts of the church nowadays. (I’m thinking specifically of the prosperity gospel, and it’s sister, the self esteem movement, but that is for a different blog post!)
So the Lord had dealt with Job, and moved onto Eliphaz and his two buddies. These guys had been “counselling” Job about the nature of God for the better part of the ordeal, and it had ticked the Lord off.
His anger burned against them.
The solution? Offer up a burnt sacrifice of seven bulls and seven rams. But notice that the text says for these counsellors to go to Job and offer up the burnt sacrifices. Did Job represent the Lord in this sacrificial offering? Was Job acting as the one receiving the sacrifice?
Let’s move on – The second part of the solution was that Job would pray for the counsellors.
Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar had to look Job in the eye and ask for his prayers to the Lord for forgiveness. As many of my readers may know, this is a difficult act to carry out. Pride keeps us from admitting our wrongs to those we inflict. Pride keeps us from restoration of relationship!
But there is one other aspect that occurred to me this morning.
Job suffered under the hand of God, and he had corrected his attitude by way of repentance. But Job had also suffered under the accusations of his counsellors, where they would argue against Job’s position, his faith and his convictions.
And Job had to pray for his counsellors.
He couldn’t hold this over their heads, speak of his superiority, boast that he won the contest, or nurture an arrogance in his heart. His prayers for his counsellors also brought him to a reconciliation with his fellow sinners.
My friends, do you have a Bildad in your life? Do you hang out with a Zophar or an Eliphaz?
I know I have had a few in my life and though they take different positions than I do in my faith, I am thankful for their counsel for a number of reasons.
- First off, opposing views of God’s nature motivates me to find truth in the Word, to sharpen my convictions, and to determine foundational issues for my faith.
- Secondly, it broadens my view of the Word, for many times a brother’s thoughts have challenged me in my faith by considering a verse or set of verses that may be understood differently than I did.
- Thirdly, and quite possibly the more important reason, I am stretched to love a brother who may be of a different opinion, who is passionate about the topic and seeks my best, but in the end, we cannot find similar ground. This happens often, and I believe the Word allows for this to happen, in order to give us the opportunity to love the one who is different.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Love one another.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.