Do you like to win arguments?
I know I’ve become wrapped up in arguments in the past. At some point, it just becomes about winning the argument. We argue and argue and argue. We reach that point where we forget what we were arguing about in the first place!
Call it competitiveness. Call it stubbornness. But we generally like to win.
Job’s friends had a chance to back down from their bad advice that we read about last week. This week we see Job and his friends go back and forth (Job 15-21) once again. And while we don’t know exactly how the discussion took place, it starts to feel like an argument.
Just listen to some of the statements in these chapters. Eliphaz said, “Would he argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value…Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you” (Job 15:3,6). Bildad said, “When will you end these speeches? Be sensible, and then we can talk” (18:2). Zophar replied, “I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply” (20:2).
Job replied with some strong words of his own, “I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing? I also could speak like you if you were in my place” (16:2-4).
It’s become personal. It’s become an argument.
Job’s friends maintained their position. Job did something wrong. God is punishing Job. Job needs to do something to fix this.
Job also maintained his position. He couldn’t do anything to fix his troubles. He needed someone to help and uttered some of the most beautiful words of Scripture. “Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God” (16:19-20). “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” (19:25-26).
Job was stubborn. Stubborn in the Gospel promise. He knew that God was his witness, his friend, his Redeemer. In the end, he knew he had eternal life with God in heaven. That’s the same promise we have!
Now, Job was not perfect. He had his moments of doubt. He said, “God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes” (16:9).
We too, will have moments of doubt. But we too, KNOW that our Redeemer lives. And because Jesus lives, we also will live!
We may not win every earthly argument. But we win the most important argument. Satan is the accuser. He points out our sin and says we are guilty. But Jesus intercedes for us! Because of Jesus we are not guilty. We are innocent!
So be stubborn like Job. Be stubborn in the Gospel. The truth of God’s Word is worth clinging to.
Lord’s blessings on the rest of your week!