Talking to other believers… and other people in general, teaches you so much… I guess everyone already knew that, but as a die-hard introvert, I suppose that has not always been extremely self-evident/easy for me to accomplish. We can learn a lot from the people around us. They can bring us closer to God. They often tell us what we need to hear. But what about when they’re wrong?
Job’s friends were obviously wrong. It seems like an example of dramatic irony- we see the exchange between God and Satan in the beginning of the book, but they didn’t. Everyone, including Elihu, repeatedly accuses Job of having done wrong. They conclude that Job is simply being punished. But we know better.
The funny thing is that Job’s friends seem to have remarkable faith in the sovereignty of God. They may even have good intentions. It’s easy to criticize them, but don’t you think it’s possible that you would do the same? Make various misguided attempts at rescuing someone from sin? Well, that is assuming that they were trying to help him, which they may not have been.
“Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven- what can you do? Deeper than Sheol- what can you know?”
Poetic words from Zophar. Maybe he could have followed his own advice a little.
My point is that Job’s friends were wrong about God’s intentions, if not many other things. After all, they were people, just like us. They relied on past experience, culture, common sense, prejudice, and religious ideas. They were wrong. We can be wrong about some things, while in the same breath, be right about others. “Wise people” can be wrong too. It’s crazy.
Don’t believe everything you see. Don’t let your common sense, your instincts, your street smarts lead you through life. We’re all going to make mistakes along the way, and we will learn from them… but do we really need to be constantly led astray?