July 18, 2011

Wow, for a Minute There I Thought You Were a Friend

God tells us things in advance.  He withholds no good thing from us.  But we have to make the request for advancement.  I believe it is possible that the reason we are supposed to be content in all situations with what we know and where we are, might be that when we ask for things if we do not have enough knowledge or experience we end up in a less than desired situation which brings pain.

Job was called a man of integrity and character by God.  We know that God calls us by who we are in Him, what He is raising us up to be – as in our study of David.  God called him or reserved his place when he called him a King.  Many experiences by the merciful hand of God brought his called King into being.   Non the less, God knew who David was to be – so he accepted him at his current state granting him his future status.  Could it be that this is the same thing He was stating of Job?

Let’s keep this in the back of our minds as we continue on this journey with Job.

Friday in conversations we discussed how Eliphaz had already made up his mind the reason for Job’s predicament.  He was coming to Job, not so much as a friend but as a prophet.  After knowing that the vision, or words forming the vision, in his mind were opposed to the character or God, we can discern which side of the battle line that this spirit came from.

For a moment I would like to stand in Eliphaz place and look around as if it were me rolling in upon Job. However, I want to base my stance on the facts so that I can correctly see myself or hold myself accountable.  Since Friday I have hashed and rehashed the dialogue and environment leading up to where we are.

We have no idea of Eliphaz’s relationship with the Lord.  We do know that he believes he is a wise and discerning prophet.  As Eliphaz, did I take what I believe to be a vision as well as my understanding into the counsel of the Almighty before running off to enlighten Job of the cause for this curse upon him?  If not how in God’s name could I discern the spirit working amidst another individuals life?

Since I can find no reference anywhere of me taking the matter before the God that I am representing touting my knowledge of, I can only assume that I leaned on my own understanding.  If I were to hold myself up to the standards of God and look myself square in the mirror what would I see?

  Though I spoke truth, was it the whole truth?  Did I come to Job as a judge or a sympathetic companion?  Did I speak with great wisdom in a manner that would encourage hope to be healed? Did I serve this conversation of truth administered through love? Did I intercede as a servant desiring my God to have this wayward child back into his fold?  Would he have felt that light, life and companionship were brought to him by the grace of God’s mighty protective arm or that a scourging authority was extending his arm to administer a merciless flog?

As I look upon the situation, I have no doubt that I, Eliphaz have heard from a supernatural source.  Believing there is insight of a situation I am compelled to go.  As Eliphaz, I believe myself to be wise, discerning and someone superior in which others should take heed.  However, I do not believe that I am compassionate, gentle or generous with anything other than my own intellect.  I also sense that I am inciting a grieving person in crisis while withholding proper Godly insight.

I can only imagine how crushing this was to Job.  If I put myself in his place as he set there in the ashes, scraping his boils after his wife said curse God and die, seeing my three friends coming down the road I would have been so relieved.  I think I might have been tempted to angle the shard of clay a bit differently as was suggested by my “help mate”.  I thank God that He had total control and only good in store for Job.  This all reminded me of what God said through Jeremiah to His people:

Jeremiah 29:7-14

Today's New International Version (TNIV)

7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD.

10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

So today, think about the goodness of the Lord, believe that it is his plans to give you hope and a future as you seek peace prayerfully interceding for the prosperity of the community you are currently journeying through.  Because of this you too will prosper.

I pray for those who are deceived and request that they see the truth so that they, through Christ CAN cast down false imaginations.

To Him be ALL the glory,