The "Wisdom" of Job's Friends, by Melissa Gibbs

The "Wisdom" of Job's Friends, Job 5-7

Job's friends finally begin to offer their opinions as to why all of this suffering has befallen him. Eliphaz's offers a commonly held theory that one's own sin is responsible for suffering... that when bad things happen it is because it was deserved due to some specific transgression. Eliphaz says, "it is my experience that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same." That is true some of the time, but we all know of "bad" people who prosper and "good" people who suffer. Jesus himself explained the folly of this line of thinking when referencing the tragic deaths of some men killed by Pilate and others killed in an accident. This is from Luke chapter 13.

1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

Jesus makes plain the fact that these men were no more sinful than their countrymen and bore no responsibility for what happened to them. He does not go so far as to explain why it did happen to them, but we know that it was not punishment for sin. If that were the case, we'd all have been annihilated shortly after birth. Not one of us is punished as we deserve.

Job knows that he has no blatant sin in his life that could have brought on such tragedy and refutes the idea. He engages in an extended pity-party, understandably so, but never does as his wife suggested in chapter 2, "curse God and die". He wants to die, but he does not curse God. He questions Him, but never crosses the line. I like knowing that Job, who is recorded as being "blameless", questioned Him. We can do that! In a spirit of trust and reverence, we can be angry at God, we can wrestle with God, we can even argue with God, as we will see Job do later on. When our hearts seek resolution and not retribution, God seems content to be patient with our little tantrums. Such encounters can actually build our faith when handled properly.

Tomorrow's reading: Job 8-11

About Melissa Gibbs:


Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her junior high sweetheart, JD.  He is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.  JD and Melissa have been married 16 years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their church, and other ministries.  Their youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family.  Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches. Much of her energy is now focused on a huge festival planned for mid May in celebration of Taylor's victory over leukemia and in effort to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.  If you'd like to check out what she's up to while not blogging, go to


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