by Judy Webb
In chapter 22 of Job, we find Eliphaz, a close friend of Job, laying out a litany of the sins and transgressions Job must have committed. After all, why else would God allow all this disaster to befall his good friend. Eliphaz, the kindest of Job's companions, only made him feel worse by raising doubt. This makes me wonder, did Job's friends even know him? Had they witnessed his goodness as they came alongside? Further, did they even know God?
“If only I knew where to find Him. If only I could go to His dwelling.” (Job 23:3)
Eliphaz has planted seeds of doubt in Job who is now questioning his relationship with God; not his health, wealth, or even the lives of his children. What seems to break his heart most is the feeling that God is far away.
Most of us have experienced a sense of being alone in a trying situation. During a season of loss, death, or emotional stress we may have searched for God but couldn’t feel His nearness, so we cried out to God like Job – for a moment – and then we realized He never left and His Presence gives strength.
Job’s faith is clear in verse 10: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Even considering all the pain and hardships Job has endured he still declares, “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” (Verse 12)
This is one brave and faithful man of God. Few could endure all the loss Job did and still have their faith intact rising stronger than ever. He never stopped believing and testifying to the goodness and love of God. Sound familiar? Christ also suffered unjustly to fulfill the purposes of God. Perhaps one day you or I will be required to suffer for the Gospel.
Dear Jesus, should that day come when we need to have the strength and faith of Job, provide it for us. We long to be close to you everyday, and sometimes it is easier than other, but always worthwhile. Amen.