Job 12:1 And Job answered and said,
2 No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
4 I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.
5 He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.
Sometimes sarcasm is necessary to get a person’s attention. Job was getting tired of the false counsel he was being subjected to. His three friends were taking advantage of his situation. They lacked compassion. They could have started by asking Job some simple questions. However, they came at him like a bull in a china shop. They believed they knew all the answers and Job just needed to listen to them. In order to respond to someone, you need to listen to what they have to say first.
Job knew that his three friends were void of wisdom. He was seeking to help them to see they were not being helpful at all.
In verse 3 Job reminded them that he too had understanding. We have the advantage of hearing God’s assessment of Job in chapters 1 and 2. God knew Job to be a God fearing man. He had some knowledge of God and he knew the difference between right and wrong.
Job’s three friends had not said anything profound. They had stated some facts regarding God and regarding sin, but they had made completely wrong application of what they knew. We do not need to have profound answers, but what we need is proper application of God’s Word to a particular situation. It is easy to read a verse or two and build a doctrine. The question is, did you build that doctrine on the basis of truth or did you develop that by looking for verses that support your position. The Bible is the Word of God. We should not go to the Bible to look for verses that will support what we believe. We should go to the Bible and see if what we believe is accurate with the Bible.
II Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
You will notice in those verses that verse 6 follows the other verses. First we need to get our thinking straight with God’s Word. The context is to Christians. Every true Christian needs to be a student of God’s Word. There are many things that I have learned over the years that have corrected things I was either taught earlier or things that I assumed to be true. It is important to approach God’s Word as the Word of God. It is absolute. It is always right. I can be wrong.
We have already noted that Job had some deficiencies in his theology. He needed to learn more about God. His three friends did not just have some deficiencies. They were settled on the idea that they were right and they were going to try to ram their theology down Job’s throat. They were way off base, but in their minds they were right. Everything Job said was just another point for them to attack.
In verse 4 Job stated that his friends were treating him as a fool. He was being mocked for claiming to have communed with God and having heard from God. Rather than considering what Job had to say, they used everything he said as ammunition against him.
In verse 5 Job admitted that he was in a precarious place, spiritually. He had already expressed some doubts with regard to what God was doing. He needed some godly people to come alongside him to encourage him to trust in the Lord. These three men were not doing that at all. They were trying to knock his feet right out from under him.
These three men were not suffering as Job was. They were using their position to attack him rather than to show compassion. If he needed correcting, their approach was certainly not going to help. They were so full of themselves that they could not hear what he was saying. They would twist his words and use them against him. They were of no help.
God tells us that we need godly counsellors. God says there is safety in godly counsellors. Godly counsellors are those who know the Lord first of all and then have learned how to walk humbly with Him. They seek to be careful to apply the Word of God in Its context. They do not pull verses out of their context and try to use them to support their own theology. They want to exalt the true God with their words.
That is what Job needed, and he was not getting it. That is what people need today as well. Those who are seeking to help others need to walk humbly with the Lord and let Him direct their thoughts and words so that they can be helpful. Not all will appreciate the truth, but the godly person must seek to speak the truth in love to each and every person they meet. That is what Jesus did and that is what He taught the apostles to do. That is what we need to do today as well.
We do not get our direction from psychology books. We get our direction from God’s sure Word. We listen to wise men who have been taught by other wise men to know how to study and apply God’s Word in the right way. Wise men will always point those in need to God’s truth, not their own opinions.