God permitted Satan to torment Job. Job suffered the loss of flocks, herds, and servants at the hands of marauders, lightning, and fire. He lost his family when a house collapsed due to high winds. Job’s health failed. His medicine was a piece of broken pottery. He scraped the oozing sores and boils covering his skin.
Job had three friends. They came to comfort him. When they saw Job they sat astonished. The wealthy famous Job was a miserable disease ridden heap sitting in dust and ashes. What were the friends to say? What was the reason for Job’s demise, his fall from prosperity to utter financial ruin, physical pain, and emotional torment?
Eliphaz answers with a rhetorical question, “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed?” (Job 4:7). Bildad slanders Job’s family. “If your sons sinned against Him, then He delivered them into the power of transgression” (Job 8:4). Zophar triumphantly defends God, “He knows false men, and He sees iniquity without investigating” (Job 11:11).
Job’s friends utter platitudes. They give the easy answer. Job’s personal sins are not the problem (Job 1:8 and 2:3). Neither is the difficulty Job’s lack of faith (Job 13:15 and 19:25). Job is exemplary (James 5:11). The lesson? Beware of easy answers that hurt and hinder rather than help and edify (Ephesians 4:29).
Click here to listen to an audio message based on Job 4:7-9, “No Easy Answers.”