Read: Job 15, 16, 17; John 2
But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. (Job 16:5 NIV)
Job’s friends continued their argument. They chose to prolong the debate rather than seek to alleviate Job’s suffering. And so tension is building as their dispute presses against Job’s claim of integrity before God.
Job responds to Eliphaz’s accusation that he does not fear God by calling his friends “miserable comforters” (Job 16:1). He goes on to say that if their fortunes had been reversed, Job too could sit and speak harshly against them. But Job says he would be different. Instead of tearing down his friends overcome by their hardships, his words would lift their spirits. Rather than add weight to the burden they would bear by tearing them down through accusation, Job would seek to lift the burden to encourage their spirits.
But let’s not miss that Job’s argument here is based upon one little word with so many ramifications – IF.
It is easy for us to say “if” followed by a statement of what we might do or say. However, these two letters hold no guarantee of what will follow our supposed “if.” How often have we told a friend something like, “If I were in your shoes . . .” followed by some well meaning advise?
Can we be sure of our integrity before God. Job was, and remember in everything he said, even his “if,” Job did not sin against the LORD.
Job’s integrity, or as God called him “a blameless and upright man,” (Job 1:8) is key here. Integrity is defined as , integrity is derived from the same root as integer – a number that is whole and unbroken by fractions. Perhaps this is why if integrity people sometimes say, “He is half the man he used to be.”
Do our family and friends view us as a person of integrity, someone who is reliable and won’t be two-faced? Do they have confidence to trust no matter what may happen? It is our integrity that enables us to speak with certainty about how we may respond in any given situation. It is our integrity that enables us to provide real comfort for family and friends in a time of crisis.
Integrity makes “if” a sure thing.
I need to allow God prove my integrity now, to be known as an honest person true to the words I speak and person I am. Such integrity will strengthen me to face the “if’s” of life and I remain true to the person God is making me.Likewise, my integrity will build confidence in others to know me as a faithful friend.
Yes to Yield
LORD Jesus, You hold tomorrow in Your hands. Because You are God there are no “if’s” or “but’s” in my life; You know what I will face. As I rest in Your faithfulness, I surrender to Your will to test and prove my integrity and prove me to be genuine. Holy Spirit help me to be a man like Job, blameless and upright in Your sight. Empower me to be whole and complete with no division or brokenness in the person You have made me; continue Your work to make me like Jesus. Only then can I have confidence to know how You will have prepared me to face my unknown “if’s from day to day.