I’ve been doing a bit of catching up on my Bible reading and have recently been hanging out in the book of Job. Now, you’ve got to wonder about the book of Job. Most of the time it’s summed up by a preacher in about three chapters (the first two and then the last one), basically they say: Job’s a good guy, devil asks to test him, God let’s him take away everything Job has and even gives him boils, Job doesn’t curse God, and in the end God comes in a violent storm and then returns to Job double what he originally had, the end.
What we barely ever spend much time on is the nearly 40 chapters of conversation between Job and his three ‘counseling’ friends. I could be wrong but I think that is the longest conversation that there is in the Bible, and it’s an definite argument no less. And I’ve been spending the past two days sitting in the midst of these arguing friends, and boy is it something.
I think there are a ton of situations where you could apply some of the wisdom found here, like don’t argue with someone who just lost everything, but I think you can figure those out. Instead, I’d like to just point out one of the interesting passages I ran across that I think might lend us some insight. (This is from The Message, I looked at the NIV too and I think it’s a acceptable translation)
Job to his friends:
“are you going to keep on lying ‘to do God a service’?
to make up stories ‘to get him off the hook’?
Why do you always take his side?
Do you think he needs a lawyer to defend himself?
How would you fare if you were in the dock?
Your lies might convince a jury-but would they convince God?
He’d reprimand you on the spot
if he detected a bias in your witness.
Doesn’t his splendor put you in awe?
Aren’t you afraid to speak cheap lies before him?”
Have you been there? Eagerly trying to ‘defend God’ with your human wisdom? Is that why we are so into apologetics and theological study?
I wonder if our lack of awe at this concept of god we argue the case of, is the very thing that keeps those we argue against from seeing the splendor and standing in awe of the true living God?