As we continue our Monday reading schedule in Job 3, we see Job was having some dark thoughts. He never cursed God after losing his family, farm, and his health, but in this passage it shows Job’s mental state was set towards depression and and thoughts of death. “After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.” (3:1-3) He goes on in later verses lamenting for the grave. Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?” (3:20-22)
To understand Job’s thoughts on his relationship with God we turn to Job 4 and see a conversation he had with his friend, Eliphaz the Temanite. You see Job apparently used to be the counselor to his friends and now he’s in need of it himself. Proverbs speaks of the importance of being counseled. Proverbs 11:14 states, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” It’s important for Christians to seek good, godly counsel. How can a Christian determine good counsel from bad? Good counseling always leads to a better relationship with God. If the ones giving you “counsel” are leading you down a path of bitterness through gossip and frustration, that’s not good, godly counsel.
Was Eliphaz being a good counselor? Let’s look at some of the advice he gives to Job. In Job 4:7-11 Eliphaz questions whether Job’s sin was the source of his problems or not. Although we know this not to be true from chapter one where God himself called Job blameless. Does that mean Job was without sin? Of course not! We all sin. But again we saw Job was chosen to be afflicted by Satan because of his right relationship with God. Although the general principle of sin does have the wrong affect on a Christian’s walk with God is true, we cannot fall into some “spiritual Karma” theology where if someone seems to be attacked it’s because of their sin. That would mean to say that any believer with an illness deserves it because of their sin. Granted sickness came into effect because of the fall, but that’s painting with a broad stroke. I do believe Eliphaz was right in his counsel though. His motives seemed to be to help Job restore his relationship with God by asking Job probing questions about sin. You can never restore your relationship with God if you are hiding iniquity in your heart.
What I glean from these chapters in Job 3 and 4 is that there are times when even the strongest of Christians will fall into depression. It’s important to seek godly counsel that restores your faith in God. A counselor needs to ask the hard questions about your sin life, but again not to tear you down, but to help you find where your thoughts are not His thoughts in order to restore the peace of God in your life. I challenge you today to purge your life of wrong counselors and strive to surround yourself with people whose goals are for you to live a godly life.