When I was in high school, I was the “Christian kid”, and I was definitely proud of it! I took pride in the fact that I didn’t really get into trouble: I didn’t drink, I didn’t do drugs, and I was a straight-A student. But like I said, I was prideful about it. Although I was the Christian kid, I was also probably the most self-righteous person I knew. In many ways, I was no better than the non-Christian kids, but man was I glad when they got into trouble for doing stupid stuff.
Job chapter 15 is the first of several in what is called the “Second Cycle” of debates between Job and his friends. In this second cycle we’ll see Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar getting really impatient with Job because they believed that Job’s afflictions (the loss of his children, livestock, and servants) was caused by none other than his own personal sin(s). Job’s friends, hopefully with good intentions, were aiming to show Job the terrible road that laid ahead of him if he didn’t repent for his “sin”. The arguments stemming from Job’s friends are built on a deep-seated belief in retribution theology. In this belief system, it’s “this for that”, “an eye for an eye”. So naturally, Job’s friends believe he must have done something really bad to get a punishment this terrible, but isn’t this the antithesis of God’s character, especially in light of the gospel?
While they were accusing Job of sins he didn’t commit, Eliphaz looks to have gotten at least one thing right. Verse 14, “What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?” The truth is we all deserve judgement. When we continually play this comparison game, like I did in high school, we forget what the God of the universe truly saved us from through his Son Jesus. Reflecting on the wrath that God could justifiably pour on us if it weren’t for Christ, how will you view people and their shortcomings differently?
By: Tyler Monroe — Worship Ministries Intern