Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I've come across rants like these in literature, in real life, and sometimes even coming out of my own mouth. It's the "Oh, now you've done it" diatribe people spout off when someone deliberately departs from the will of God as we have mapped it out in our minds. Eliphaz goes off on Job in chapter 15.

This is the stuff of keenly crafted false humility, unveiled in three key points: 1) Everyone is lower than God; 2) You are speaking against God and are therefore putting yourself above God; 3) Allow me (as someone who recognizes what being meek and lowly and humble is all about) to speak on God's behalf in the form of a spirited, finger-wagging rebuke.

It's the most beautifully backward theology known to man: It is impossible to be truly right before God, but if you were more like me, you would be.

What really stinks about Eliphaz's application (and that of so many of us modern-day prophets) is that Job's big sin was nothing more than thoughtful honesty. Rather than numbing his mind to the reality of his suffering, Job asked the questions and spewed the complaints his pain could no longer allow him to contain. And in that sense, Job was given a gift, albeit one with the crappiest wrapping job in the history of the world. 

God showed Job why he loved God. It wasn't, as Satan alleged, the luxury, the joy, and the thriving family he had enjoyed. It wasn't the health and prosperity and ease. No, all that stuff was merely the fringe excess of God's grace. Job's love was deeper than even he knew. When his relationship with God was stripped down naked, all he had was his suffering, his lousy friends, his unwelcome life, and the nagging assurance that he couldn't turn his back on God. Job learned that the pinnacle of human spirituality on earth (which, let's face it, Job had achieved) was still a humiliation under the gaze of a holy God.

And this so-called friend of Job was telling him to stop being a rebel, come back down to the land of the blissfully ignorant, and wait for everything to go back to normal. 

If it's comfort in anything but the love of God, rebel away, I say.

1 comment:

  1. Adam, are you drifting to a new Calling? Time for the pulpit my friend.


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