Having friends who are willing to confront is only helpful if the one being helped is willing to consider that God is allowing the conversation to initiate changed thinking. It seems to take Job a long time to conclude that he was condemned by his seeking to take God to court. Even though God did declare Job a righteous man, Job uses this special favor to defend himself against the verbal attacks from his friends. In reality, he moved into the realm of pride. Not the kind of false pride that comes from accumulating things, though he certainly had been blessed with material wealth. His pride was not derived from the number of children he had; for Job even offered burnt offerings to God to cover the sins committed by his children. Yet Job appeared to have poor insight into his need of a savior, as if his righteousness equaled that of God. I think that even before Christ preached, died, and rose again in order to bring salvation to man, Job and his generation saw evidence that God is the only One who is righteous. A song of praise by Gungor, called “Higher” says, “There is no one, there is no one like You; only good things could ever come from You; even your judgments are righteous and true.” These words can also be found in the Psalms and many other passages in the 66 Books of the Bible. Yet I, too, question the roaming eye of God during my wait on grace; my vision narrows and I look after the triune god who means most to me – me, myself, and I. My history of ill-treatment, unfair practices, and dissipating dreams interfere with my peace in the day and haunt my sleepless nights. But even I am fearful of saying as Job did to his friend, Elihu, “I am pure without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity found in me. Yet He finds occasions against me…”
In Acts 13:46, it is recorded that Paul and Barnabas preached to the Jews how the Gentiles will take their place in God’s kingdom. Not surprisingly, the pronouncement against the Jewish leaders was a shock to their sensibilities. Though condemned, the Jews did not repent. Commentary in the New King James Bible says, “…convincing oneself that you do not need forgiveness from the Holy One already condemns yourself.”
I am reminded by these passages that gaining insight often comes with a walk through uncomfortable, fearful, and dangerous places. The price could be a friendship, the shunning by the family, or dishonor in public places. Yet shall we ask God, “Why me?” as if we do not trust in a righteous God? As if we are too good to have made a mistake? Or can we be filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit, as the Gentiles in Acts were? Can these trials serve to bring us closer to a loving, forgiving, and righteous Father? Even His judgments are righteous and true.