In Chapter 3, Job’s friends come and sit silently with him for seven days, waiting for him to speak. When Job speaks at last, he curses everything but God. He wishes he had not been born, but slowly works around to the realization that to anyone who suffers in such a major way, death seems welcome, and the peace of the grave sounds wonderful by comparison.
Job’s loud complaint sounds disrespectful at best and sinful at worst, almost as if Job is judging God! Please read Chapter 3 right now to capture Job’s bitterness and sorrow. I see something else here, though. Remember, Job is a man “blameless and upright, who fears God and turns away from evil.” (1:1)
If so, God is Job’s best friend, regardless. Now let me ask: have you ever unloaded on your best friend, let it all pour out, and bared your soul, just because you can trust your friend? It can be hard and gritty, but your friend knows you well enough to let you rant.
I had classified all of Job’s words as temptation in my first pass, until just now, when I thought of the loyalty of a best friend. I believe that Job’s words reflect perfect unity with God, even though he knows God has brought down disaster on him. Wait, actually, that is not correct. Satan brings on the horrors, and those are the temptation. Job’s words, spoken virtually at the point of death, acknowledge God’s sovereignty!
But the scene changes when Eliphaz speaks for the first time in Chapters 4 and 5. He calls Job impatient, lacking in confidence and hope, sinful, and in sum, “…those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.” Nice to hear when you are hurting! He says some good things about God by contrast, but only to emphasize his brutal judgment of Job.
Job’s reply in Chapter 6 begins with avowing he has “…not denied the words of the Holy One.” He goes on to express bitter disappointment in his earthly friend: “…he who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” He describes Eliphaz as a rushing torrent washing Job away.
In Chapter 7, Job turns to God and asks what we all would ask: “WHY?” Why did you do this? What did I do wrong? Why do you not pardon me and take away my sins?
In the end, Job once again unloads on his best Friend:
“Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” (7:11)
Why? Because he knows God cares, whether he understands the current calamity or not.
Why was Job not warned before being judged by God? Because he is not judged at all.
God is using his finest example of a godly man in a special assignment to defeat the Devil.
Job does not know this yet, but he will.
When trouble comes, do not curse God. Be like Job. Pour it out to God.
He may be using you for heavenly purposes that you cannot see.
And though it seems perverse, it could be the highest compliment you will ever receive.