So far, reading the book of Job is tied with Leviticus for most miserable read. (By the way, I’m now on August 26th of the one-year Bible mom gave me Christmas of 2011. Mmhm.)
Job has ridiculous friends, and that makes me squirm, because I’ve been the stupid friend before. Many’s the time I’ve looked at a friend who is suffering, have opened my mouth, and have spouted junk that has added more hurt than help.
Job says, “Miserable comforters are you all!” (Job 16:2 NIV)
Apologies to anyone who has ever wanted to skewer me with those words.
Eliphaz takes a turn at “comforting” and tells Job there’s no way Job has been a good person. If so, why would God be punishing him now? Then Eliphaz asks this question that made me nuts:
“What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?” (Job 22:3 NIV)
And to that I screamed, A lot, Eliphaz! A lot of pleasure! (People with big imaginations have very, very interesting “quiet times” with the Lord.)
I couldn’t even keep reading after that, I was so upset with that question. (This could possibly explain why it is taking me an unreasonably long time to get through my one-year Bible.)
What pleasure would it give, indeed.
I went on a Bible-searching rampage in my mind, grumbling under my breath. I’ll show you what pleasure, Eliphaz. Hmmmph.
I landed on one verse, with which to load my weapon for rebuttal. Move over, Job. I’ve got this.
“A wise son brings joy to his father…” (Proverbs 15:20 NIV)
Kids who live a righteous life, making good choices –they make for smiling parents, bragging parents.
And that’s exactly why Job is mourning the loss of everything and scraping at boils from head to foot –because God bragged on him to Satan.
“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’” (Job 1:8 NIV)
If that isn’t the bragging of a proud Father, I don’t know what is.
A wise son brings joy.
And when Job refused to curse God, when he accepted the hard stuff from God –I think that delighted God even more.
Today, if we do what is right instead of being lazy or scared or stubborn, we will bring joy to the Father. He’ll most certainly find pleasure in every good choice we make.
And who doesn’t want to bring joy to their Father?
Don’t listen to Eliphaz.