Job 42:7 – WHY GETTING IT RIGHT ABOUT GOD IS IMPORTANT THIS CHRISTMAS
On Tuesday 16th December, 2014, a deranged gunman, with a distorted view of God, took hostages in a coffee shop in Martin Place, Sydney, and sought to impose upon us His murderous views of justice. Two people were killed and Australia, overwhelmed with grief, expressed their heart with flowers.
Job’s friends had a twisted view of God which affected their perspective of others. Job 42:7 says after the Lord had finished speaking to Job, He spoke to Eliphaz. Perhaps because he was the oldest and first to speak to Job, Eliphaz became the representative of all three friends. He said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have NOT SPOKEN ACCURATELY ABOUT ME, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:7 NLT). They said things about God that simply were not true. Their theology was false. God was angry. Not good to get God angry, yet even God’s anger is tempered with His desire to forgive.
What were they wrong about?
Like deranged gunmen they shot their accusations at Job and imposed upon him a God they invented rather than the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible? Job’s friends assumed that God was judging and punishing Job by afflicting him with various tragedies because of some great sin. This was absolutely false. The Lord said “He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil” (Job 1:8 NLT). They were contradicting what God had said about Job.
The logic of their theology went something like this; God punishes people whenever they do the wrong thing. Job is suffering. Therefore Job must have committed a great sin. We are not suffering. God will never allow you to be afflicted with trouble if you do the right thing. We must be right with God. This is twisted presumption and spiritually naïve.
Not once did Job’s friends offer to pray for him. They were more concerned with accusing him of sin and demanding he repent. They lacked the compassion and mercy that should characterise those who believe and follow God. They went after Job like rabid dogs determined to do harm rather than good. They spoke on God’s behalf but were cruel and vicious in what they said which clearly meant they did not know the facts about who God is. Their distorted view of God affected their ability to relate to a sick friend.
This Christmas is prime opportunity time to get to understand who God is by getting to know who Jesus is. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). To know Jesus is to pursue truth and a relationship with God.
By the way, God ignores Elihu. I don’t know why. I kind of wanted Elihu to be rebuked as well. Everyone seems to have their own ideas about God and God says to them “You have not spoken accurately about Me”. We want God to exercise His judgment upon certain people and not on others. We want Him to love us and not others. God, however, is the only one who is equipped to balance Justice with Love perfectly. He doesn’t need our help. He’s better qualified than we are.
God’s Word, the Bible, has all I need to know about God and so I don’t need to make up my version of who I think God should be or how I think He should act. The Bible is always my gauge for life and faith. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT) says “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
The cruel things these so called friends said about Job are not discussed, only that their teaching about God was inaccurate. Why?
It seems when we get it wrong about God, our view on life and others is twisted. God has revealed enough of His character for me to know I can trust Him. As I trust Him He gives me the ability to share His love and forgiveness for others and I will find myself expressing my heart with flowers instead of guns.