Defenses of Clay. Job 10-13. Unless we have been there, it is not easy to predict how we will respond in a crisis or a prolonged, painful illness. In Job 10, Job, in total despair, pours out his heart to God for help.
13 “With God are wisdom and might;
he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, none can rebuild;
if he shuts a man in, none can open.
15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and sound wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
Job 12:13-16, ESV
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay. . . .
15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him.
Job 13:12 & 15, ESV
Unless we have been there, it is not easy to predict how we will respond in a crisis or a prolonged, painful illness. In Job 10, Job, in total despair, pours out his heart to God for help. He knows that whatever is happening to him is not a result of some gross, hidden sin as his "friends" suspect. What do you do when it seems that even God does not listen?
When Job's friend, Zophar, speaks, in Job 10, he seems to be filled with contempt toward Job.
“Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and a man full of talk be judged right? Should your babble silence men, and when you mock, shall no one shame you?" He ends his discourse in verse 30 with these words, "But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last.”
It is interesting to note that these friends of Job were not unbelievers; they had a great understanding of who God was and how He dealt with man. Their error did not lie in the things they spoke in reference to God; their error was that they did not understand that God does allow the righteous to be tested. Job says to them, Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay.
Job is simply beside himself; he does not understand what God is doing. Though we know that no man is perfect, it is true that Job was an upright and Godly man. Even in the midst of great suffering and taunts from his friends who were determined that he deserved what was happening to him, Job proclaimed, Though he slay me, I will hope in him.
What do we learn from this? What kind of friends are we? Would we respond as Job when he said, Though he slay me, I will hope in him?
Remember, Christ is all! Everything else in this life is meaningless. As we walk before God, we must pray that we will view all of our life as God views it, and realize that we are a part of God's eternal plan. When our friends are under times of great duress, we must pray for them and let them know that we are there to support and encourage them. Lastly we must pray that God would be gracious to us and keep us faithful to Him until we reach the end of our days here upon this earth.
All things are possible in Christ!
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