can mortal man be in the right before God?

“Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?” Job 4:17 (ESV)

Another good question. But this one appears rhetorical.

Eliphaz, Job’s so-called friend, may be well-meaning but he’s sadly inept. He thinks he knows it all. Yet he is quite wrong in his understanding and assessment of God (Job 42:7).

Instead of offering Job comfort and care, he blunders through a diatribe about Job’s failings.

It’s an easy thing to do. Our inclination is all too often to speak first. Dispense advice. Extol platitudes.

And it’s not like this specific question is necessarily wrong. We know that “they have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3).

Why? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Yet blaming Job and his sinfulness for all these calamities misunderstands God and His motives.

“For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

Job’s emotions are raw and tangible (Job 6:1-4).

Eliphaz would do better to use his two ears to listen. His too arms to hold. And keep his one big mouth shut (Job 16:1-2).

Ultimately we all need to better understand God. And that’s best done by listening to Him: by reading His word, the Bible.

Kim+

prayer : that I would be quick to listen and slow to speak

action : work through the Don Carson Bible daily reading plan

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