When Bad Things Happen

When you think of Job, what do you think of? For years I thought of all the troubles Job had. But recently, the Lord has shown me to consider the bigger picture. For example, what do you know about Job’s three friends? And what kind of advice did Job’s three friends give him?

When we go through trials and tribulations of life, we often discuss them with family or friends looking for answers. And yes, we do pray and talk them over with the Lord first. But we also know there is much wisdom in much counsel as scripture teaches us.

The first attack on Job contained four attacks: 2 related to thieves stealing from Job, 1 was from fire and 1 from wind. If we were to relate the attacks to our time in the 21st century we might  see the following :

1 – Thieves stole his oxen and asses. Scripture tells us who the thieves were, Sabeans, who were descendents of Ham, Noah’s son. These Sabeans stole from Job and killed his servants.

Oxen and asses worked for Job, so we can look at this first attack as an attack on your work, your job, your career.

2 – Then fire from God is fallen from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, consumed them. Because sheep were used in an offering to the Lord as well as food, does this attack represent our worship?

3 – Then the Chaldeans made out three bands and fell on the camels and stole them and killed the servants. Camels were a means of transportation so Job lost his means of transportation.

4 – This one was a great wind from the wilderness and smote the house his children were in and killed all his children. This we might say was like a tornado destroying a house and everyone in the house.

So we see two of the four attacks were related to thieves, one from fire and one from wind.  We also know it was Satan bringing these attacks from Job chapter one.

We read where Job’s three friends come to him and counsel him. So let’s look at this counsel. The three friends were Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Now scripture tells us who these three are specifically and if we trace who they are, we can find out more about them. For instance, Eliphaz was a Temanite. Why would God tell us that?

Job 4:1 KJV  “Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,”

Temanites were from Teman, the grandson of Esau. They settled with the Edomites, those from Edom. Paul tells us in Romans 9, God hated Esau.
Romans 9:13 KJV  “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

All I am saying is God tells us where these three friends are from and we can learn more about the three friends by learning where they are from. Why mention this? Because of the counsel they gave Job. We can compare to the counsel we receive.

You see, Eliphaz’s counsel was focused on experience. He argued to Job based on experience. People do that today. They tell of their experience and think God works the same way all the time. But like Eliphaz, people don’t see if it is Satan attacking because they are basing the attacks on their own experiences.

The second friend was Bildad, the Shuhite. Bildad argued from tradition. He was using traditions and called Job a hypocrite. Job 8:13 KJV  “So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:”

That would be like saying today – our traditions show us God does not attack his people like this so you must be a hypocrite by saying one thing to us but doing something different. Today, that would be like people telling you that you speak one thing but I see God punishing you and our tradition tells us God wouldn’t punish you if you were doing what you say.

And the third friend Zophar was a Naamathite and he argues to Job from legalism.  Job 11:11-15 KJV  “For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider it ?
[12] For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’s colt.
[13] If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;
[14] If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.
[15] For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:”

Zophar was telling Job, you must have sin in your life and that is why these things have happened to you.

Later we read a fourth man comes to speak whose name is Elihu who also gave Job counsel.  But what happens after all the tests, after all the attacks?

Job 38:1-2 KJV  “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
[2] Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?”

The Lord tells Job the counsel of his friends was not true regarding the attacks on Job.  Sometimes, well meaning family and friends will tell you that you are sick, or poor, or can’t find a job  because:
Tradition teaches God does punish believers. Or, experience tells them God does this when  certain things in your life do not please God. Or, from legalism, you must have done something wrong or have sin in your life.

Friends, God punished sin at the cross. All punishment went on to Jesus. If you are in Christ you are righteous in God’s eyes and if you are being attacked, there is a very good chance it is Satan trying to get you to quit on God. Satan trying to steal from you or Satan trying to destroy your testimony.

God is not our problem, he is our answer. Until next time.

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2 responses to “When Bad Things Happen”

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