Pondering Job in a Pandemic – Chapter 22

Our fourth week of lockdown in New Zealand begins. Most everyone I speak to, including myself, is finding this long. Another week feels like an eternity at this point.

Eliphaz pulls out the most accusatory speech towards Job yet. He accuses Job of great evil. Acts of wickedness that would only be seen in the life of those who reject God. Job is accused of ignoring the needs of widows and directly crushing orphans! These are serious accusations indeed. These are the very evil deeds God will later accuse Israel of committing and which stand as part of His evidence against them justifying sending them into captivity.

Even in the New Testament, James tells us that pure religion is lived out in acts of love and care towards widows and orphans.

We know what God says about Job in chapters 1 & 2. Therefore, we know Eliphaz’s accusations are false. God would never have described Job the way he did if this is what characterised Job’s life.

Job will reply in the next two chapters. We will look at his reply in due course.

What do we do with false accusations? Certainly a false accusation can bring a form of suffering. When they are made at a time when we are already suffering, in other words like here, claiming our suffering is due to some sin of which we are falsely accused, the false accusation can become a very heavy burden indeed. We can even begin to feel guilty for something we are not actually guilty of.

There is a sense or feeling of guilt and then there is a fact of guilt and they do not always line up. We may feel guilty for something we are, in fact, not guilty of. We may not feel guilty when, in fact, we are.

When we are accused of some wrongdoing, what we don’t need to do is go on some campaign trying to defend our reputation. We need to take care of our integrity (our standing before God) and let God take care of our reputation (our standing before men).

When hearing an accusation of wrongdoing, it is wise to consider it humbly. Before the Lord in humble prayer as well as seek the counsel of someone we trust to guide us according to God’s Word, we will desire to know if we are factually guilty. If it is determined we are, then we ought to confess our sin to the Lord and those effected by our sin and repent.

if it is determined we are not factually guilty and this is a false accusation, where possible we and a trusted fellow Christian ought to go to the one making the accusation and confront them for their wrongdoing.

Primarily though, we will need to entrust ourselves to God’s assessment of our hearts and fight against Satan’s desire for us to believe the assessment made in the false accusation.

Peter speaks to this in the New Testament.

1 Peter 3:14-17 – “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”

Soli Deo Gloria

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