This Saturday, June 2, 2018 I will be running in my fifth “Tough Mudder” event. This particular event is to be held in Michigan and I am running with 4 people who Jackie works with. I am running this course with 2 nurses, 1 physician’s assistant, and one physician. I have been telling everyone how safe I feel if anything happens.

Unfortunately, Job didn’t feel as confident with his “running buddies” counsel. In fact, in Job 13:4 we read “As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all.” This is how Job describes his friend’s counsel … whitewash and worthless physicians. I love how the NIV translates this verse:

You, however, smear me with lies;

you are worthless physicians, all of you!

Even better is Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase “The Message”

You graffiti my life with lies.

You’re a bunch of pompous quacks!

Job expected some comfort, sympathy and empathy. Instead he received opinionated traditionalism that had razor-like teeth. I would assume that Job’s friends never met Abraham

Lincoln who once said,

“He has a right to criticize who has a heart to help.”

I am not going to judge Job’s friend’s motives … that is not in my job-description. But they’re words, even the ones that may be truthful, are anything but kind.

In his commentary on Job, Bill Cotton writes insightfully:

As physicians, they only irritate the pains they think they are healing. Their ideas are sound in general terms, but totally insensitive to Job himself, and quite wrong in their attempt to apply their rigid creed to him like a straightjacket. They are quite unprepared to rethink anything. As counsellors, they lecture and preach at their counsellee. True words may be bad medicine for a wounded heart.

 

Think about that last sentence the next time you minister to someone who is hurting. Our Text this Sunday is Job 11-14

~ See you Sunday

Pastor Byron