Thoughts are things, tangible things at that. In religion, we think we have a better knowledge of what God commands, without proffering any evidence that others are not as enlightened as us. Worse still, we inadvertently erect religious standard of expectation for others far beyond what God demands. We feel good in doing this because we believe we are helping them. But in reality, we are destroying whatever little faith in God they have left.
Such was the effect of the words of Job’s friend, Eliphaz. When he started his speech, he commended Job for all the good and notable things he had done. But soon, he began hinting that there may be need for Job to repent from some unknown sins that he had committed. He urged him to turn to God, to accept His laws, assuring him that if he did so, he would be forgiven. Thereafter, he would begin to prosper greatly, the Almighty shall protect him, he would delight in God. When he prays, God would hear, whatever he decrees shall be done. God would shine His light on him, lift him up and save him from all his troubles.
These are all truths, but they did not apply to Job and his circumstances. Concerning the Arabia patriarch, the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
We must not condemn those God has justified. When we see people suffering from many adversities, we must not hastily assume that it is because of their sins.
Of course, where we see obvious sins, we should encourage them to repent and turn to God. But if they are living as believers, we should assure them of the unfailing promises of God, and affirm to them that the faithful God will always help His people.
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