Scripture: Job 17-20. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Job’s three friends – Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar -had a reputation for being wise; however, Job could not find wisdom in any of them. They assumed that because they were prosperous and successful in life that God was pleased with the way they were living and thinking. Job disagreed and told them that they had the wrong idea, that being prosperous and successful was not proof of the faith they had in God. Success to Job’s friends was based on outward performance. In previous chapters, Job’s friends were easy to point the finger and accuse Job of sin. Job had all along thought that God had brought all these disasters on him, when it was really Satan.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Earthly success and prosperity are not proof of faith in God. All of our wisdom comes from God, not from human successes or failures. Remember that we should not evaluate life only in terms of our present world because God has promised us a wonderful, pain-free, never-ending future to those who are faithful to Him – and God does not lie.
Also, it is easy to point out someone else’s sins or faults. Job’s friends were not trying to encourage or correct him the way God would have; instead, they were very accusing and trying to make him feel guilty. We should always confront people out of love and not just because we are annoyed or wanting to blame others. Success, to God, is based on a person’s heart, not based on outward performance.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you are always there for us, each and every day, no matter what we are going through. We know that you are always looking out for us and know the desires of our hearts. Only you know our hearts, so please help us not to judge others with what sins of faults they have, but rather help lead them in the right direction with your guidance. We pray you would give us the strength to make it through life’s troubles and to learn from them as well as growing closer to you through them. We pray these things in Jesus’ name, amen.