Job 22: Give in to God…and everything will turn out just fine.
As I read Eliphaz’s third speech I see that he’s hardened during the exchanges with Job. Now, to justify his position he’s telling outright lies about Job. According to this latest version of Job’s life, he’s crushed orphans and exploited the homeless. If Job wasn’t in such misery this would be downright silly. Old Eliphaz isn’t above rewriting the facts if it helps him keep his religious views on track. He even goes so far as to suggest that if a person gives their life to God that everything will turn out just fine! How overboard is that! Wait a minute. I’ve heard people say that. Serve God and have faith and you’ll be healthy and wealthy. I know that if I skip over a few pages I’ll find that it turns out okay for Job, although he’ll live with the memory of his departed children the rest of his days. Since the book of Job is about asking big questions we might as well ask the one before us today. If a person “gives in to God” will “everything turn out just fine”? Since I believe in the existence of heaven, I can answer “yes” in the broadest of terms. However, I don’t think that’s what Eliphaz is thinking about. He says that people who give their lives to God will have a better life here and now. Is that always true? When I think of those who’ve been martyred for their faith, those who’ve been imprisoned and tortured, or those who suffered as Job did I know it isn’t necessarily true. Living for the Lord is a wonderful way to live and the benefits are, well, eternal. However, it’s false advertising to tell people that if they give their hearts to the Lord that everything will be fine this side of eternity.
Take Away: We shortchange the power of the gospel if we sell it as some kind of “get rich” scheme.