Are we providing footholds or traps of darkness that influence those around us? Ultimately, we make the final choice in whether or not we sin, but we can be pressured and influenced.
This post idea was inspired by a fellow Christian blogger Pastor Matthew Winters.
Check Out Pastor Winter’s Post | Does God Instantly Smite And Rebuke?
To be honest, the book of Job is not one of my favorites. It’s really interesting in the beginning, but toward the middle, it feels like it drags. Job’s friends constantly rebuke him with the assumption that Job is suffering because he must be wicked. They think he must have a lot of iniquity (repeated sin) in his life. Their solution is he should repent, and therefore, he will then prosper. They take this approach of acting like a “teacher” figure and trying to preach to him all about God and who God is as if Job is completely ignorant.
Job then gets very offended and tries to explain that he has knowledge about God and the works of God. He tries to refute the accusations that he is suffering because he is wicked. He thinks God is against him, basically. Furthermore, to prove himself in later chapters it’s a constant list of righteous works. “I’ve done this, I’ve done that,” etc.
It’s true that Job was a righteous man. The things he talks about show us how he was righteous. He was not afflicted with trials because of sin, but righteousness. God told Satan he could test Job. Despite all of the trials, Job never said anything evil about God. He never turned his back on the Lord. His wife told him to curse the Lord and die, but Job never did that.
Nonetheless, through these trials, Job did eventually sin. I never caught this most of the time I was reading through the book. I thought he was “always righteous,” let me clarify.
A person can be righteous, but that doesn’t mean there will never come a time they need to repent. In the process of refinement, often we are called to surrender and repent from many things of the world and pleasures of the flesh. I didn’t realize Job sinned in the end and had to repent. (Mind you, he was not the only one who needed to repent.)
Job sinned because he relied on his righteousness to be a reason why he shouldn’t suffer. In the beginning, when Job loses his children, cattle, and more he tells his wife shall we not accept the bad with the good?
(NIV) Job 2:10, “He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”
Yet, in the next chapter, however, Job is so tortured he is ready to die. He struggles to understand his hardship. (This is not when he sinned, mind you.)
(NIV) Job 3:11, “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?”
His friends mourn with him at the beginning, but in seeing continued trials that Job experiences they are convinced Job must be the one in error. (Honestly, this reminds me of the Word of Faith movement. You have this or you don’t have this because of your lack of faith or sin. People make assumptions. )
Job’s friends encouraged him to become focused on self-righteousness.
- They made assumptions about him.
- They accused him of sin.
- They acted like he didn’t know anything about God.
- They weren’t listening to him, except to find things he said that they could jump on and disagree with.
Which makes me wonder, are we potentially giving footholds for darkness for those around us? Are our words and actions leading others to sin? Do we think we are right and therefore we speak and “try” to take the speck out of someone’s eye…when we have a plank?
Regarding judgment, the plank and speck scripture simply means we cannot help someone with something we, too, are struggling with. We can’t help someone if we are hypocritical of the same thing. We must repent BEFORE we can help them. Jesus does want us to help our fellow brethren and make righteous judgment calls!(Matthew 7:03–05)
Job thought himself to be righteous in his own eyes. Job’s friends thought the same of themselves, too. They were convinced they were right. Job was convinced he was right. Neither one could help the other.
In the end, the Lord humbles Job, opening his eyes to the fullness of God’s power and reason, far beyond what Job could comprehend. Job seeks forgiveness from the Lord, and God tells the three friends to also repent because they spoke wrongly about God, whereas, Job spoke rightly about God. (Job 42:07)
I know it’s easier to point fingers at his friends, but honestly, when people are struggling around us for a while, it’s really easy to make assumptions. We think we know better, and oftentimes, we do not. Sometimes we think we’re helping by giving these long-winded speeches, and we’re not. It’s easy to prattle on and on about how right we are, so that we feel validated. Read any of the friends’ speeches, and you’ll see this. Note: Elihu is NOT one of the three friends. He appears later.
All the more reason we need to step back, be quick to listen, and slow to speak.
Have you ever found yourself in the shoes of Job’s friends?
Monthly Scripture- (NKJ) Psalm 85:02, “You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah.”
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath