I was going to take a week off blogging and probably will take some days off in the very near future to “celebrate” retirment, but life giving thoughts are worth sharing as they come along! I was finishing off reading Job today. I am not sure I have particularly noticed this before, but only 3 of Job’s so called comforters receive any attention from God, while the contribution of the 4th, Elihu, is completely ignored by God. I am not sure why. Perhaps though we need to take a lesson from God Himself. There are some things that are said in the name of God or about God that we should not even dignify with a conversation. If there is a slight difference in emphasis between what Elihu says as compared with Job’s other 3 friends and Job himself, it seems to be that he is intent on defending God while the emphasis of the others is perhaps slightly more toward accusing Job of secret sin as being the source of his suffering, or as Job did, accusing God. Maybe that’s a second lesson: we don’t need to defend God any more than we need to dignify madness. There were times where Jesus was just silent. He himself told us that at times it would be as foolish to speak as it would be to throw pearls to pigs who woud just trample them underfoot. Oh to learn when we should hold our tongue which it seems was the major lesson that Job himself learned.
Practical application? Is there a ding dong battle you have going on with someone who you feel has spoken wrongly about God that it is time to drop? Of course there are times to speak up, indeed times when it would be cowardice not to: but remember God can take care of Hs own honour. He doesn’t always step in to clear His name here and now and you and I don’t always or with everyone need to do so either. A day is coming when He will clear His own Name completely and beyond a shadow of a doubt. All will declare that He has always been right in all His ways, in His kindness and in His severity, in saving grace and in His judgements, that He is indeed “a God of faithfulness without injustice: good and upright is He.” He can bear witness to His own self, to His own righteousness by sign and wonder, by mercy or judgment, by speaking through hurricane or by a silence full of His presence and His word, or by a silence which is final and voiceless. God is not a debate or an argument that we must always win. Let’s not irreverently reduce Him to that in misplaced zeal.
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