We have talked about Job here before.
But I want to point out something else we can learn from his story.
Not only did he give full vent to his bitterness, the Bible said that he did not sin with his mouth, which Steve Scott points out so well in his post here:
But even though Job gave full vent to his bitterness he didn't sin with his mouth. And his comforters did sin with their mouths to such an extent that at the end of the story, Job had to offer up sacrifices for his friends.
Please note that Job's friends were very well meaning and sat with him in silence for seven days and seven nights before they opened their mouths. They really wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery. They wanted to find a reason for the horrible things that Job went through. And they decided that since God was just, no matter what, that the fault must be with Job.
At least Job's wife knew that Job was not at fault. She lived with him and saw his righteousness. She never blamed him. She told him to curse God and die. And in this, she probably did sin with her mouth. But strangely, when all is said and done, God never told Job to offer sacrifices for her sins.
So why offer sacrifices for the sins of Job's comforters? What did they do? All they were trying to do was make sense out of a situation that made absolutely no sense to any human being. Yet, in all their explaining of the way things work, or how they thought things worked, and how they thought it could be solved, they sinned with their mouths.
They created a false structure, a false reason, a false cause-and-effect situation that had nothing to do with what was really going on. And then they came up with solutions or formulas that they were sure would work if only Job would follow their advice.
In their minds, surely Job had sinned. He must have sinned. And then, to add insult to injury, they told him he was proud for not admitting his sin. Their simple solution was that if he would just repent, the evil that plagued his house and his body would end. And they kept after it and after it and after it scolding Job for justifying himself rather than ever taking into account that perhaps Job actually did not sin and bring this upon himself.
I see this creating of false structures and cause-and-effect situations going on in the church today. Marriages are failing in the church at the same rate as they are in the world. And well meaning men, comforters are calling on Christians to follow their formulas and programs and solutions in order to save the marriages. They claim that it is feminism that is destroying all marriages, including Christian ones.
What they refuse to face is that their formulas have been around for a long time, back in the seventies and perhaps even before then. And these formulas have morphed into terrible monsters in the form of Vision Forum and the Quiverfull movement. They have instructed women to submit and keep sweet and have been false comforter of these women telling them that if they would just repent from their self-will and obstinate behavior, their marriages would be saved. And they have formed rigid molds for the daughters to follow that destroys their souls and creates learned helplessness.
Their formulas have failed and have become worse destroyers of Christian marriages than the third wave feminist could have ever dreamed of. The third wave feminist can sit back and watch and laugh as Christians destroy their own marriages with false structures and formulas.
When will people wise up and see the formulas for what they are, false comforters and false solutions to misunderstood problems? Going back to the fifties, to Little House on the Prairie, to the Golden Age of the South, to the Victorian Age will not solve today's problems. Trying to do so only creates new problems. We cannot go back. We must go forward and face today's problems with a fresh vision, a fresh understanding from God of what is really wrong and how it can really be solved.
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