How About Just Stop Talking!!!
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to Me. Job 38:1-3 (ESV)
In the world that is among football fans we call it “Armchair Quarterback” and I know some of the best players in the game to include yours truly. In the Church Age we can sometimes play “Armchair Preacher” and it happens at the end of the service when we approach the Pastor and challenge where he got that very convicting statement he made while your eyes were going half-mast. Sometimes we end our brilliantly lop-sided conversation by saying, “You should look into that” and then walk away convincing ourselves that we’ve just made that Pastor’s day. However, I gotta admit that when it comes to the Book of Job nothing takes the cake more than a prime example of a bunch of dudes sittin’ around playing “Armchair Elohim.”
On the Sunday morning that Pastor John Mol of Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ preached, he chose to preach from the 38th chapter of Job. Now Pastor John is a pretty big guy with an equally sized heart for YHVH so when he brings it…he BRINGS IT!! One of the things he brought was how brilliant people tend to hang with brilliant people and how they impress each other with the brilliant things they say to each other. So I guess when Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite got together with Job they spent the better part of the Book of Job impressing each other on their knowledge of YHVH and of His ways. After all Job the calamity you are facing is a clear indication that you have sinned, isn’t it? Someone? Anyone? Then comes Elihu…oh brother!!
All of a sudden it is like Elihu tries to tell it like it is, “And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us. Only God can convince him.’ If Job had been arguing with me, I would not answer with your kind of logic!” (Job 32:13-14 NLT) Well gee Elihu what kind of logic would you have answered with? I realize that maybe these older friends of Job throw in the towel with Job because he believes he is innocent of any sin but did you really have to say, “Let me go on, and I will show you the truth. For I have not finished defending God! I will present profound arguments for the righteousness of my Creator. I am telling you nothing but the truth, for I am a man of great knowledge.” (Job 36:2-4 NLT) UH-OH…does our God really need any of us to defend Him?
I mean Elihu does end his little speech to Job with a tremendous truth that faith in YHVH is far more important than Job getting an answer for his suffering but Elihu still went down the wrong path to make his point. It doesn’t surprise me that a whirlwind finally shows up from nowhere because quite frankly enough is enough. I can almost hear YHVH say, “Hey Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, Job and Elihu, how about just stop talking” when I read, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Basically coming out and saying when it comes to His planning and His providence you all are in the dark, then He challenges Job to man-up and listen to His counsel.
It’s funny how we can reflect on Job as a suffering servant when we go through bad things but we never see ourselves as Elihu and the ancient version of Three Stooges. (And I don’t mean to offend Moe, Larry and Curly either) I think that we have those times where we see there being a law of fairness that is higher than God when it comes to His justice in our lives. But God is the standard of justice and uses His power to His own moral perfection so EVERYTHING He does is fair, even if we don’t get it. So the next time you think YOU have something brilliant to share with someone who is troubled remember not to darken His counsel by playing “Armchair Elohim” but by sharing the narrow road leading to The Cross. Amen? – Chris Hughes blogs weekly and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. You can write to Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “There is a kindly playfulness in the Lord’s speeches which is quite relaxing. Their aim is not to crush Job with an awareness of his minuteness contrasted with the limitless power of God, not to mock him when he puts his tiny mind beside God’s vast intellect. On the contrary, the mere fact that God converses with him gives him a dignity above all the birds and the beasts, assuring that it is a splendid thing to be a man.” Francis Anderson
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25