Sneaky Pride


Does He {God} arraign you for your piety? No: it is because your wickedness is so great, and your depravity passes all bounds.

~Job 22:4-5, REB


There are some things that only God can fix.


Our verses for today come from the speech of Eliphaz to Job. Job was actually a good man as men go. In my opinion, he is the best man in history other than Jesus. When tragedy strikes Job’s household and life, his friends falsely assume that it is due to his sins. All their speeches are accusing. They accuse Job of being heartless toward the poor and arrogant toward others. The fact that Job was bewildered and questioning lead them to believe he was in denial and so full of pride that he would not confess his sins. Jobs friends missed it a country mile. They could not have been further from the truth. There are lessons to be learned from their experience.

Be careful about looking for faults in others. Jobs friends were accusing him of pride but it was they who were acting in pride. Job was not being proud, he was being honest: he simply did not know why God was allowing all tragedy and you and I know, it was not due to any sin in Job’s life. Job was actually being tested because he was good but his friends assumed he had done something bad. The second lesson is beware of faulty theology–good people do suffer. The righteous Abel died and the wicked Cain lived–go figure. Faith is Christ does not give us immunity from suffering. All the prophets suffered. They were all persecuted and unappreciated. John the Baptist died at age 31 for telling the truth. Paul was hounded by the Jews for preaching the gospel of grace. As I often remind people: Jesus did not die of old age. The best of all men suffered more than any. Get this none sense out of your head that God rolls out a red carpet for all who follow Jesus. That is what many of the ancient Jews believed and it is what the health and wealth preachers teach but it is false. People who have a bad theology are not going to make good decision. Your conclusion is bound to be faulty if it is based on a false premise.

One other thing: Job needed sympathy and understanding. He did not need pious sermons. Neither did he need their opinions. This is one of the things that makes me a horrible counselor, I am too opinionated and too quick to share my opinion. When people have a broken heart, the last thing in the world that they need is our opinion. They may need a hug or a smile or a sympathetic ear but they don’t need our opinion.

Let me say one other thing: some problems cannot be fixed… by humans. I am not a pacifist but there are some things that only God can fix. Jobs friends could not fix his problem but they did make them worse by all the judging and accusing. They would have been more help if they returned home after the seven days of silence and prayed for Job from their homes. If God is the only one who can solve problem: then He is the one we should be talking to! Talk to Him and listen to them.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood…PTL. Two in row praise the LORD and perhaps another one today.

I got to meet the family of Michael Totten last Friday. Mike and I played football together. He and I were linemen at Athens back in 65-66-67. He weighed about 205 which was big in those days and I weighted 170 soaking wet. Mike was a good guy. He died of a blood clot to the heart. He worked most of his life at Brown’s Ferry. I had a good visit with his wife and children yesterday. Those few moments with them mean a lot to me.

You want believe this story and then again, I guess you might: I heard a device going off in our service yesterday but it was not my phone. I didn’t want to embarrass anyone by stopping the service so I just kept going and did not let the noise bother me. It was my I-pad. Chloe had set the alarm and it continued to go off even after I closed the I-pad. Needless to say, no one heard a thing I said. We live and learn.

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