Part 2 Job and the Nation Israel Second Study: At the Mercy of the Critics -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg
BSac 97:385 (Jan 40) p. 27
Job and the Nation Israel
Second Study: At the Mercy of the Critics
(Continued from the October-December Number, 1939)
Most of the Book of Job is taken up with the addresses of Job’s friends and his answers to them. They are not incidental to the book but are of primary importance. To view them otherwise is to lose sight of the great movement of the book. These friends attempt as best they can to probe Job’s predicament. He does not understand the reason for his unusual sufferings nor do they. It is no small problem with which these men are wrestling. There is no book in the Bible that does not have some reference to trial. The Book of Psalms has one hundred and fifty psalms and over ninety have some reference to suffering. There is no believer in the Scriptures whose history we have in any fullness at all, but what was called upon to endure trouble and suffering in some form. Many times the most godly were the most tried. Let your mind review for the moment the lives of such men as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Paul, Peter, the early disciples and apostles. Did not each one find out experientially the truth of the words: “But man is born unto trouble, As the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). Those who were greatly used of God were trained in the school of affliction and hardship.
Job Under the Critics’ Scrutiny
The friends of Job in trying to explain his afflictions really misrepresent God as well as Job, and so are Satan’s tool to cause Job to renounce God. Job’s heart feels it cannot accept their opinions as to the dealings of God with him. These friends, mark you, were prominent, wise, and pious men, men of age and experience. Their arguments were good and forceful, but they were based on wrong premises. Job refuses to admit the cogency of their arguments because he
BSac 97:385 (Jan 40) p. 28
knows of his own innocence of their charges against him. The arguments of Job’s friends go from veiled insinuations to open denunciations. As the argument progresses the friends realize that they are unable to convince him, and they become more and more harsh and severe. They begin mildly but are astonished that Job tries to refute some of their primary arguments, and finally they lose confidence in his uprightness and sincerity. Instead of applying a balm, wine, and oil to his wounds, they cauterize them, pouring in vitriol. It is always like vinegar on soda to come to a broken soul and dejected spirit prattling about platitudes without sympathy.
The main contention of Job’s friends was that suffering is for sin. This is true in general but far from true in all cases. As...
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