Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. Job 22:22 (NIV)

Job was perhaps the most spiritual man on earth during his time. There is no other place in the Bible where God seems to give a man such a stunning recommendation as he does Job. Job is known for his godliness, his patience and his lack of good friends.

In the midst of Job’s trials, Eliphaz steps in and pleads with Job to see the light. His wealth was gone. His family was gone. His health left him as well and he ended up sitting in a pile of ashes scraping boils with a broken dinner plate. To top it off, his wife had lost heart and wished he’d just die so he’d be out of his suffering. Talk about a downer!

When things go dreadfully wrong in our lives there always seem to be a generous supply of people willing to step in and tell us exactly why we are in that predicament and offer solutions to getting out.

Eliphaz was just the man for the task. He pleads with Job to come to his senses. “All this can be over if you will just turn your life over to God! Listen to him. Return to him. Quit being so evil and greedy and he’ll restore you!” (My paraphrase)

Maybe you have an Eliphaz in your life. Someone who scrutinizes every move you make and are ready in a heartbeat to point out why your way is wrong and their way is best. Eliphaz’s seem to have experienced every illness, every legal situation and every relational issue known to man. Their profound experience allows them the opportunity to share with the world the way to happiness.

Only one problem with Eliphaz. He didn’t have a clue as to why Job was suffering. Job didn’t either. The only one that did was God and he wasn’t talking. Give him credit though. Eliphaz was following a misconception that began in the Garden of Eden and will continue until the end of time. It’s the notion that God only speaks to us in certain ways and at certain times.

Eliphaz (and all his ancestors to this day) would have done well to practice what he preached to Job. His words in Job 22:22 are words each of us needs to follow. Rather than listening to all the ‘Eliphaz’s’ in the world, we need to learn to listen to God himself.

Does God use people to speak his word? Certainly, but not always. He would much rather speak directly to us individually through prayer and reading his word than to speak through a translator.

Calamity doesn’t always come as result of sin. Disaster isn’t always Gods way of punishing us. Sometimes God allows the bad things in our lives to bring us closer to him, but not always. The next time an ‘Eliphaz’ steps forward with all the answers to your problems, listen respectfully and then go to the Father and see if what Eliphaz says matches up with your Heavenly Father.

PRAYER: Father, I thank you for the Eliphaz’s in my life for they teach me patience. Give me wisdom to follow you even when they try to convince me their way is best. Amen.