As Job thinks about this unaccountable silence of the God he had served so long, he cries out with anguish in his voice, “You have turned on me ruthlessly!”
Oh, oh! Watch out! What did he just say? I really think that his conscience did grab hold of him here because he tries to justify it as being his “right” to complain.
Hey wait, just a little while ago, he had told his friends that he would trust God no matter what, even if it pleased the Lord to slay him. He had boldly said that when everything was said and done he would come forth as gold, and now, he is charging the God that he believed was faithful with turning against him.
Even as those words were leaving his lips he knew they were wrong, but he silenced that still, small voice with the excuse, “I have a right to complain because of these things!”
Job had just reached the most important point of this whole affair and he did not even realize it. Up to this point, Job had maintained unshaken confidence in God. The battle of words with his friends actually served to strengthen his faith in God. But when he started to dwell on the “good old days,” he blew it. That is when he started looking even more intensely at his present condition and became very bitter.
Next came self-excusing when he should have just repented and let it drop. After he tried to justify himself, he fell into dejection over his blackened condition and finally mourning and crying over himself in helplessness and hopelessness.
Jeremiah fell into the same self-pity and said, “everyone curses me . . . I sat alone because your hand was on me . . . are you going to be like a deceitful brook? One who has failed? “ (Jeremiah 15:10-18). When the Lord heard this from Jeremiah, he replied very sternly, “If you repent I will again let you stand before me!” The Lord doesn’t play games with grumbling and complaining.
I remember when we were trying to get one our kids to quit his constant whining. Every time he talked, he had this annoying whine in his voice. At the dinner table, instead of simply asking for the milk to be passed, he would give out this horrible, irritating whine, “Pleeeaase paaasss the milk . . .” One day I had it. I told this child to stop with that whining and simply ask for whatever it was he wanted! Right then, in the holy spot within my being, I heard the voice of the Lord state, just as emphatically, “I would appreciate it if you would do the same thing, Nicholas!” Ouch!
If only Job had listened to that still, small voice and just repented, I am convinced that he would never have sunk into the self-pity, despair and unworthy self-vindication that followed. Instead, he proceeded to give his friends the evidence they were looking for to prove that they had been right all along—Job was righteous in his own eyes!
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