Windy Knowledge

Today's devotion from Job 15.

Eliphaz is indignant. He can't believe what he is hearing come from Job's mouth. What he hears his friend saying is ludicrous. He is claiming to be righteous! "You are doing away with the fear of God and hindering meditation before God." (vs 4) Job has clearly lost his mind with suffering and pain.

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of reading these cycles of dialog is that we know that Job is right. He is not being punished by God for wickedness. We have the privilege of know the truth of Job's suffering. He is engaged in spiritual warfare. Yet, his friends seem intent on pronouncing judgment and finding fault.

The real kicker is....they're not wrong.

Eliphaz's theology here is pretty accurate. The wicked may get fat off opulent lifestyles for a while, but in the end they will be dealt with by God. The corrupt do not ultimately get ahead.  No man is truly righteous before God. Job is not perfect. Eliphaz is accurate in each of these things. However, there is more to the story than he can access.

Even though he "wasn't wrong," Eliphaz wasn't right either. This is where wisdom comes into play. God is not confined to formulaic responses and actions. We cannot assume to know the mind of the One who created all that is or ever will be. Yet, we, like Eliphaz, try to do this all the time.

We do it politically. We do it socially. We do it religiously. We see the person with the piercings and the tattoos, and we judge. We see the person going through the rough time, and assume they deserve it. We smugly assume that we are in tune with the thoughts of God, and that we can readily see what should be apparent to everyone else.

We often aren't wrong, but are we right?