Will you attack the problem or the person?

The Story of Job. – Day 20

What is your purpose and your intention for debating or questioning the other person? Is your goal to win or to understand? Is your goal to win or to inform? Is your goal to solve the problem or defeat the person? When faced with a problem, how will you address it? Will you attack the problem or will you attack the person? Will you allow Jesus to be in the center of the relationship and then partner with the other person to address the problem? Will you attack the problem or will you attack the other person?

Do you know what is going on? Do you totally comprehend it? Are you assuming based on your knowledge and just trying to win the debate? Are you finding that your technique isn’t helping you win the argument? Are you realizing that you are now trying to go after the person? Are you a real friend with a real relationship or are you a so-called friend and just trying to indict the other person so that you win?

Today’s reading comes to use from Job 15:

‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered [Job] and said, “Should a wise man [such as you] utter such windy and vain knowledge [as we have just heard] And fill himself with the east wind [of withering, parching, and violent accusations]? Should he rebuke and argue with useless talk? Or with words in which there is no benefit? Indeed, you are doing away with fear, And you are diminishing meditation before God. For your guilt teaches your mouth, And you choose [to speak] the language of the crafty and cunning. Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you. “Were you the first man to be born [the original wise man], Or were you created before the hills? Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself? What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not equally clear to us? Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged, Older than your father. Are the consolations of God [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you, [Or] were we too gentle toward you [in our first speech] to be effective? Why does your heart carry you away [allowing you to be controlled by emotion]? And why do your eyes flash [in anger or contempt], That you should turn your spirit against God And let such words [as you have spoken] go out of your mouth? What is man, that he should be pure and clean, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous and just? Behold, God puts no trust in His holy ones (angels); Indeed, the heavens are not pure in His sight— How much less [pure and clean is] the one who is repulsive and corrupt, Man, who drinks unrighteousness and injustice like water! “I will tell you, listen to me; And what I have seen I will also declare; What wise men have [freely] told, And have not hidden [anything passed on to them] from their fathers, To whom alone the land was given, And no stranger passed among them [corrupting the truth]. The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And numbered are the years stored up for him, the ruthless one. A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; While at peace and in a time of prosperity the destroyer comes upon him [the tent of the robber is not at peace]. He does not believe that he will return out of the darkness [for fear of being murdered], And he is destined for the sword [of God’s vengeance]. He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already at hand. Distress and anxiety terrify him, They overpower him like a king ready for battle. Because he has stretched out his hand against God And behaves arrogantly against the Almighty, Running and charging headlong against Him With his ornamented and massive shield; For he has covered his face with his fat, Adding layers of fat to his thighs [giving himself up to pleasures], And he has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities, In houses which no one should inhabit, Which were destined to become heaps [of ruins]; He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure; And his grain will not bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth. He will not escape from darkness [fleeing disaster]; The flame [of God’s wrath] will wither his branch, And by the blast of His mouth he will go away. Let him not trust in vanity (emptiness, futility) and be led astray; For emptiness will be his reward [for such living]. It will be fulfilled while he still lives, And his branch will not be green [but shall wither away]. He will fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine, And will cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree. For the company of the godless is barren, And fire consumes the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice). They conceive mischief and bring forth wickedness, And their inmost soul prepares deceit and fraud.”’

Job 15:1-35

Today’s study includes information from:

Study Notes:

After Job’s latest speech, it has intensified the rebuttal of his friends. Their confrontation was energized by what Job had to say.

Today’s reading begins with Eliphaz, who was the first friend who tried to comfort him, the first to dispute with him and the oldest of them. The discussion or debate has escalated and become much more heated.

We see more questions being raised during this conversation and learn thru the study how the book of Job has more questions than any other book in the Bible with over 300 questions. The questions revolve around the subject of wisdom and trying to get understanding.

We read how Eliphaz was now telling Job that his words in vain and would have as little effect on God as the wind. He compares Job’s speech to the east wind which in that part of the world was the worst wind.

Eliphaz says Job’s words are worthless, unprofitable and do no good but instead cause hurt. We see how Eliphaz’s opinion of Job has degraded and felt that Job’s sins were so great that God wouldn’t even be listening to him.

Eliphaz goes on to accuse Job with the severity that Job was trying to undermine other people’s devotion to God. Today’s study goes on to say “He forgot that Job had asked God to take away his fear of Him. Job had spoken boldly of his belief that God would save him. Eliphaz believed that Job was not showing reverence toward God. He even believed that Job was hindering other’s prayers to God.

Eliphaz going from trying to argue to now attacking Job when he accuses Job of ““iniquity” and being “crafty” deceitful, whereas in his first speech he seemed to assume Job’s sincerity. Eliphaz believed that Job’s tongue was speaking from a heart filled with iniquity.

Eliphaz even goes on to accuse Job that his own words have condemned him. That there was no need to try and produce any testimony for his own lips had given enough proof of how he was guilty. Today’s study mirrors the accusation with the ones that Jesus received as it says “Now he was saying that the words he was speaking were condemning himself. He believed that Job had been acting in an irreverent way in speaking to God. Job was in very good company being accused of sinning with what he said. They accused Jesus of speaking blasphemy, and therefore worthy of death. How wrong they were, and how wrong Eliphaz was here.“.

Today’s study gives the following additional summary of what was discussed:

Verses 7-13: Eliphaz condemned Job for rejecting the conventional wisdom, as if he had more insight than other men (verses 7-9), and could reject the wisdom of the aged (verse 10), and the kindness of God (verse 11).

Verses 7-10: With God, true knowledge is not necessarily linked to age but to consistent obedience (Psalm 119:99-100). Knowledge and wisdom come from doing what God instructs and discovering that He always knows what is right (Deut. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:12).

Verses 14-16: A strong statement with regard to the sinfulness of man (Rom. 3:23), that attacked Job’s claim to righteousness. (Verse 15), refers to holy angels who fell and brought impurity into the heavens (Rev. 12:1-4). The truth is accurate, that all men are sinners, but irrelevant in Job’s case, because his suffering was not due to any sin.

Verses 15-20: Retributive justice was not only Eliphaz’s philosophy but that of all three friends. They did not see that while suffering is ultimately the result of original sin not all suffering is the result of a person’s particular sin.

Verses 17-35: Eliphaz once again returned to the same perspective and indicted Job for sin because Job was suffering. To support his relentless point, he launched into a lengthy monologue about the wicked and their outcomes in life, including many parallels to the sufferings of Job. He had pain, and didn’t know when his life would end (verse 20). He suffered from fear, every sound alarmed him, and he thought his destroyer was near (verses 21-22). He worried about having food (verse 23). His suffering made him question God (verses 24-26). Once well-nourished, housed and rich (verses 27-29), he would lose it all (verses 30-33). Eliphaz concluded by calling Job a hypocrite (verses 34-35), saying that this was the reason things were going so badly.

Eliphaz again appeals to his personal experience for authority: “That which I have seen.” He then surveys the judgments that fall on the wicked, thus implying that Job is to be numbered among them.

Bible-Study.org Chapter 15

It was interesting as I looked for an image for today’s post, I found this interesting one and clicked one level further and found an interesting podcast about it. Attack the Problem Not the Person – the question was posed from an Amazon employee where he spoke of their way of Attacking the process not the person which leads into the podcast discussion.

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

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