Who doesn’t love when someone gives their opinion without being asked for it? I admit that I have been guilty of this more than a million times but am getting better! I certainly have learned who I will and will not receive counsel from when I am going through a firey trial. It is important as believers and unbelievers that we go to seek wise counsel, someone who is dependable, slow to speak and quick to listen. However, the reality is that we seek out whoever is convenient and end up more confused or hurt than before. To give a prime example of negative outside voices, we are going to look at the well known story of Job.
Job was a blameless and upright man (it says this in the Bible). He had been blessed with a wife, seven sons, three daughters, and a large household and a keeper of thousands of livestock. Some people might say blessed, others might think that’s a lot of work! As most know, back then inheritance with family and possessions was a depiction of God’s favor over ones life. It even says according to the Bible that Job was the greatest of all the people in the east. Job was clearly just an all-out great guy and he feared God. He made regular sacrifices and burnt offerings on behalf of his sin and the unbeknownst sin of his family members. He always desired to be in good standing with his God.
So one day in Job’s perfect not so little life, Satan decided to approach God and his angels to stir him up. The Lord asked Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”(Job 1:6-7) Meaning that he was on the prowl for a victim.
1 Peter 5:8 NIV
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan then answered the Lord and basically says well he doesn’t fear God in vain, you have placed a hedge of protection around him, his family and all he owns. You, his God has blessed his hands and the work of them, but if you stretch out your hand against your servant he will surely curse you. And the Lord replies to Satan, “Behold all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” (Job 1:8-12)
I can just picture it, God is looking at Satan pathetically and probably thinking about what a slime ball he is. And I’m sure Satan was laughing and rubbing his nasty little paws together, drooling at the thought of tormenting Job. Besides this little imagery, we learn that God is in control of everything and that includes Satan. It is difficult to understand God’s supremacy and sovereignty but He is God. No questions asked.
So Satan pursues Job and wreaks havoc on his life, kills his children, kills his livestock, and attacks Job’s health with painful boils. So if things couldn’t get any worse, his wife rises up against him and says “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) And Job replies “you speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.(Job 2:10)
Talking about kicking someone while their down, Job’s wife was anything but supportive. This U-turns back to my original statement of seeking people of wisdom. As if she wasn’t bad enough, Job’s three friends show up and lay the condemnation on him real thick. Here’s just one example out of many..
Job 4:7-9 NKJV
“Remember now who ever perished being innocent? Or where ever were the upright cut off? Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His anger they are consumed”.
So here we have Job’s friend Eliphaz, accusing him of being a sinner which is why the wrath of God has struck him. (Lets hit the pause button) Who does this guy think he is? There is a right way of doing things and this was not it. If one of your friends is living a life of sin, the number one thing we are to do is pray for them. Secondly, if God calls you to correct your friend and guide them toward repentance, do it gracefully and with tact. However, this wasn’t even the case! Job was blameless and upright, he was a Godly man, walked and talked it. Eliphaz had no idea what was going on in the spiritual realm nor did he have any wisdom to interject. Poor Job, heard all of his friends accuse him of sinning and cursing God. I mean these accusations went on for a couple of chapters and Job had to defend himself against the wolves disguised as friends.
The Lord knew Jobs heart and that is why he allowed Job to be tested, he knew that he was a faithful servant. As for Job’s friends, they were self righteous. It is an eye opener though because we have all been there and done that, maybe we’ve been the accuser or we’ve been the one tested. There are several points to this story and they are:
- God will allow us to be tested even if we are upright and without blame
- God will allow us to go through trials if we fall into sin, so we must repent.
- The devil loves to see people tormented and especially curse God, no matter how difficult it gets continue to serve the Lord.
- Don’t share everything with just anyone, seek out Godly counsel and mature wisdom-filled people
- Don’t be the accuser because you will do more harm than good.
- Pray for people who are suffering and going through trials that is the best thing you can do!
Father God, teach us by your Holy Spirit how to deal with people and situations. Let us bring glory and honor to you forever and always! Amen.