Soli Deo Gloria

Job 16 – Job Replies to All 3 *Friends* Part 1: “Miserable Comforters Are You”

Job answered: He’d heard many things, his friends are miserable comforters. He counters saying that they are windbags. What provokes them to answer? He could speak as they do if they were in his place. He’d join and shake his head at them He could strengthen them with his mouth, and intensify their pain with the “comfort” of his mouth. God has worn him out making his company empty. God has shriveled him up, his condition testifies to his face, “God has torn me in his wrath and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.” Men are amassing themselves against Job, “God gives me up to the ungodly and casts me into the hands of the wicked. I was at ease, and he broke me apart; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces; he has set me up as his target; his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys and does not spare; he pours out my gall on the ground.” Job feels that God is breaking upon him breach after breach, like a warrior. Job’s face is red with weeping and deep darkness is on his eyelids, even though there is no violence in Job’s hands and his prayer is pure. Job’s witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for Job is on high. His friends scorn him and he weeps to God, that he would argue the case of man with God, as a son of man does with his neighbor. In a few years Job shall go the way that he won’t return from.

O how we should be quick to hold our tongues. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak true things, but when a friend is suffering we should be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Again, their diagnosis of the cause of Job’s suffering is off, and they just dig in. Beware of finding consolation in the words of men. Here again we see that in the midst of his affliction, Job still has a hope that in heaven there is one who witnesses and testifies for him. This ties into the theme of Job’s hope of renewal in chapter 14 that is rooted in God in chapter 13. In the midst of Job’s anguish we still see glimmers of preaching the truth to himself. Again, he knows that what he is going through isn’t primarily because he is a sinner. He is, but he knows he has been singled out, not because of his sin (even though we don’t know if he ever knew about God’s conversation with Satan in the early chapters). He’s honest to God about his sin (as we’ve seen earlier) and he’s placing his hope in God, not himself – but his life is miserable. God, when we are tempted to think there is no hope for us, lift up our eyes to rest upon You. Help us to come to you with our heavy burdens to find rest. Help us to learn from You, O Lord, because you are gentle and lowly in heart. God help us to find rest for our souls in you. (Matthew 11:28-29)

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