Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Job went through a lot and he endured even more from his friends. They accused him, berated him and lectured him while he was down. Why did they lecture him? Because he wanted an answer.
Job’s friends kept trying to give him an answer, but it never sufficed for him. It was as if he didn’t want their advice. That only seemed to strengthen their resolve to set him straight. What is interesting is that Job never seemed hurt by their words. His pain was much deeper.
I am sure Job had considerable pain over the loss of his children, houses and his fortune, but that is not what Job wants throughout the book. At one point, Job succinctly explains what he wants and why he wouldn’t get up and move on until he got it:
Then summon me and I will answer,
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
Searching For Answers
Job was mostly concerned with hearing from God why all the calamities had come on him. There was no human who had an answer for him. They may have had wisdom to offer, but in Job’s situation it was meaningless. Job could only be satisfied by an answer from God himself and he set his resolve to hear Him alone.
Job’s wounds weren’t from his earthly friends, but from God. He wanted to know from God alone what was wrong. In the end, God spoke harshly to Job. Most people think that would be crushing, but in fact it was freeing. Job’s heart was finally free from the pain and bitterness of his torment.
God rebuked Job for much of his wrong thinking, but He did not abandon him. In fact, God rewarded Job for his persistence to hear from Him by restoring to Job more than he had before. God rewarded Job not for his persistence to regain what he lost (material blessings), but for his drive to hear God’s voice.
Being Honest With God
There are many times we feel like we have been wounded by God. Most people I run across are too afraid to admit it. They are too afraid to admit that they feel like God let them down. They don’t want to admit they feel even betrayed by God, so they bottle up their feelings and hide from God instead of running to him.
Job never held back his emotions from God. He knew that there is nothing we can hide from God, so why try?
24Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
25Will you torment a windblown leaf?
Will you chase after dry chaff?
26For you write down bitter things against me
and make me reap the sins of my youth.
27You fasten my feet in shackles;
you keep close watch on all my paths
by putting marks on the soles of my feet
What are you hiding from God? Are you hoping for a good word from God, or are you relentless enough to hear the word that God has for you?
Let God know how you feel and do not relent in seeking Him to hear His voice no matter what He has to say. God may have had harsh words for Job, but in the end God rewarded His desire to hear from Him.
What is it you need to hear from God and God alone? Will you trust Him even if you feel His words may wound you?