Don’t kick a man when he is down.
I don’t know if they still teach idioms in English classes in school, but I remember our teacher spending a lot of time on them. They brought the study of English alive for me because I think in pictures.
The language of every culture is rich with idioms. In Africa, they say, “Don’t tell the man carrying you across the river that he stinks.”
Job’s friends had obviously never heard of either of these idioms. Job was down and probably pretty rank, with sores all over his body, and all his friends did was kick him and tell him how badly he smelled to them and, they concluded, to God also.
Then Job started kicking himself.
And here is where Job’s story gets dangerous.
Without the benefit of knowing what God was doing behind the scenes in his life, Job arrived at the wrong conclusions about who God was and what He was doing right then.
We know what God was doing, but that’s because we have read the first two chapters and the last chapters of the book.
Job didn’t have that information, so he “read” his circumstances and arrived at the wrong conclusions about God.
In chapter 29, Job laments the days God watched over him… and concluded He no longer did.
Job remembers what it was like to walk through darkness with God’s light illuminating his path… and concluded God no longer shone on him.
Job considers days past when God was his friend… but concludes that the friendship was over.
Job reflects on times that God was with him… and concluded God was now absent.
All of these conclusions, regarding God, based solely on Job’s “read” of his circumstances.
But Job was wrong about God.
On every count.
Unfortunately, it took him almost to the end of the book to figure it out. And the turnabout came in Job, not because his circumstances changed, but because Job received a new revelation of God!
A revelation so awesome that Job responds in deep repentance, “I had heard of You… but now my eye sees You!”
Here is the lesson for you and me: God’s character and His love and care for you cannot be discerned by your circumstances! If you do that, you will come to the wrong conclusion about Him every time.
A dangerous conclusion!
In sharp contrast to what Job concluded, you can be assured, because of the character of God, that He…
• …is still watching over you.
• …is still shining His light into your darkness.
• …is still your Friend.
• …is still with you.
Count on that.
Speak it out loud over your life and situation.
Pray each element of it back to Him in bold confidence that He is the God who never changes.