Trust God’s Justice
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long” (Psa. 25:4,5).
Read Job 4:1-21
 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:  “If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking?  Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands.  Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.  But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed.  Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?  “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?  As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.  At the breath of God they perish; at the blast of his anger they are no more.  The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken.  The lion perishes for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.  “A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it.  Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on people,  fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake.  A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end.  It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice:  ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?  If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error,  how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth!  Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces; unnoticed, they perish forever.  Are not the cords of their tent pulled up, so that they die without wisdom?’ Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do you believe about suffering?
The first of Job’s so-called comforters, Eliphaz, speaks, and they’re not comforting words! He and the other friends each have a different way of explaining (however fruitlessly) suffering. You can read the collected speeches of each and discover a uniquely wrong-headed theme. Eliphaz, for instance, suggests here and in all his speeches (chs. 4,5,15,22) that the innocent never suffer (7) and that those who sow evil reap it (8). However, our experience suggests that this isn’t always true!But Eliphaz does say some things that can help us to live with suffering, even if his argument about why there is suffering is unhelpful. He asks rhetorically whether human ideas of righteousness and justice are superior to God’s (17). If we acknowledge that’s not true, we’re left with the necessity of having to trust that God’s ways aren’t our ways, and his ways are better. Trusting that God knows what he’s doing, and asking his help to keep on trusting despite our situation (34:32a), will help us live well in the midst of suffering (13:15).
As you look at situations which you do not understand, avoid trying to answer the unanswerable, and rest in God.
Father, in a world where the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer, give me vision beyond this life.
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