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JOB RESPONDS

Job has heard enough of his friend’s sermon. They have suggested that he was guilty of some great sin to earn this suffering. He is not engaged in some secret failing, so he is even more offended by their suggestion. This is the product of people who are just a little off. They don’t come out and bite you, they just cozy up to you like a porcupine, all full of little needles of bad doctrine.

There are some members of the body who have been infected like gangrene, and need to be removed by church leadership. A right hand is no good if it will cause poison to kill you. These guys are merely like friends who come to church to share a cold…thanks buddy!

There are people who are an open door to the evil voices and their role is to be part of our testing. You may remember that this life is only the entrance exam to the next life. If you don’t have experiences like this, you may not be in the right room to take the test. It’s part of Christian life. So Job is still in pain.

Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. Job 6:6-10

Job has no pleasure in the usual things that give flavor to life. With all pleasure gone Job considers death better than helpless suffering. I have been hospitalized without relief from any medicine or medical knowledge. It is really hard to pray when your focus is taken by pain.

What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me? To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. Job 6:11-14

Job is asking what the point of his suffering is. Is there a good reason to continue living, or is there only more pain ahead? His friends have departed from fearing God by not having pity on the afflicted.

My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away; Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place. The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish. The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them. They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed. Job 6:15-20

Arizona mountain streams may occasionally freeze and hide their waters until summer. But then they dry up and disappear! When people come to the river they are expecting, they are only met by more thirst. We have lost tourists who live in the west and they should know better than to go prospecting in the Superstition Mountains in the summer. Such are fair weather friends.

For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid. Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance? Or, Deliver me from the enemy’s hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty? Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? Job 6:21-25

If your friend seems to be cast off by God, are you afraid to be a friend now? Job did not ask for money or protection. He doesn’t need bail or a lawyer, just a little understanding. Show me what to fix so I can correct my ways if you can.

Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend. Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie. Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it. Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things? Job 6:26-30

As a broken man Job has been looking for answers, and he already knows his own life and actions. He can’t find truth in the suspicions or accusations of his friends. Do they look on him as a liar? Job thinks his own conscience would have tasted any sin hidden in him after all this testing. He will have a long time to search his soul about this.

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