Encouragement

Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
Job 5:17

Running the mile in high school P.E. class was never something I looked forward to. I hated running, mostly because I was overweight and couldn’t do it in under 10 minutes (to get a passing grade).

But there was one aspect of running the mile that helped buoy my spirits.

There were a handful of people who, having finished the run, stood around the track, especially at the finish line, and encouraged those still running.

encouragement2“You can do it!” they would shout.

“Keep going!” they would encourage.

Having already gone through the grueling run, they knew what it was like to run it and to complete it, so they would encourage those still running.

When Eliphaz speaks to Job, I imagine this is what he thinks he is trying to do for Job.

He talks about God discipling people. He talks about how the innocent will eventually be saved.

Eliphaz may have been trying to encourage Job to become as one of the innocent or lowly by repenting of his sin that he surely has committed – which is why he’s lost his wealth, his children, and his health.

But Eliphaz is not speaking for God. Whether inadvertently or not, Eliphaz is speaking for Satan.

Satan wants Job to “curse God and die.” He wants Job – and all the rest of us – to believe that God is only to be believed in and worshiped when he actually does good for us.

In Job chapter 5, Satan twists the words of God to try to get Job to fall away from God.

Through Eliphaz, Satan twists God’s word:

[God] gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields (Job 5:10).

What God actually says is:

For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45).

The twist is that Satan is trying to convince Job that God will only do good for him if he repents of his specific sin.

But Job knows that he has not committed any specific sin! And he’s correct! Job doesn’t know why he’s suffered in this way, but he does know that it is not because he has sinned in any specific way.

Chapter 5 is a subtle twisting of God’s Word by Satan, but it is there.

And Job sees through it. As we’re going to explore in our next devotion.

It is so very important that we understand a few things – like Job did:

We believe in God not because he gives us good things. We believe in God because God loves us.

God doesn’t love us because we do good things. We do good things because God loves us.

When bad things happen to us, it isn’t because God hates us. It is because God loves us and wants us to understand why we love him and how much we love him.

This is where Job is going to get “messy” and difficult. I encourage you to stick with me as we unpack this more in the upcoming devotions.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Journey to Calvary – Lent 2016 Devotions available here.

Read past devotions at the True Man Blog here.

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