Reading: Job 6-7
After Eliphaz condemns Job for his sin, Job finds it necessary to defend himself. There are two things that Job points out in his own defense, the first is that his suffering is so great that the punishment does not fit whatever crime he might be guilty of. The second thing that Job observes is that this prophetic call for repentance is useless, because Job has no idea what he might be punished for. Repent, ok, what should I repent of?
The mistake our current radio prophets make in calling out disasters as punishments for sins is that it suggests that God punishes rather randomly. I’ve also noticed that often the people who are punished in this way are not guilty of the sin that the prophets say they are being punished for. In many cases, the sin is a political decision, made by politicians, and those affected by the disaster contained many who voted against this politician — a politician who was untouched by “God’s hand”.
Can we imagine a just God who lets the truly and openly wicked prosper, then completely destroys somebody who made an unnoticed mistake? Can we imagine a God that punishes for the sake of punishing, without considering who was guilty? Eliphaz’s justice is the justice of a child abuser who punishes according to his own changing moods rather than the guilt of the child. Eliphaz attempted to defend God, but he ends up painting a picture of a God who is far worse than what is implied by Job’s suffering. It is no wonder that God was offended.
Continued: Job 8-10 Job and Bildad exchange words