These chapters return to Eliphaz to begin round 2 of Job’s friends criticizing him and trying to help him see that his suffering must have been brought about by sin. Eliphaz accuses Job of not fearing God. Job responds by calling his friends miserable comforters and laments his suffering as he sinks deeper into hopelessness.
Job 16:2 “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.”
Job’s friends are all trying to convince him that he deserves his suffering because of some sin. The fact that Job refuses to admit sin causes them to think he’s at least sinning by being prideful. In the New Testament, Paul makes it clear that all have sinned. Sin is a universal problem. (Romans 3) Elsewhere, Jesus is asked a very Job-esque question about the tower of Siloam and the blood Pilate mixed with the sacrifices. (Luke 13:1-5) Jesus makes it clear that God didn’t bring the 18 people into the falling tower’s path because they were especially sinful but all people sin and need to repent (change). John 9 is another great example of right thinking about sin. The religious leaders want to know who’s sin caused a man to be blind from birth; Jesus is just focused on healing him.
This helps me to view people as sinners (myself included). That sounds judgmental but I mean the opposite. We live in a fallen world full of sin and sinful people. We should not be surprised when people live contrary to God and sin in various ways. It’s the way of our world, unfortunately.
Believing this helps me to react with love instead of judgment when people sin. I’m quicker to drop my stone and walk away or even better yet, to be a helper. (John 8)
This verse made me think of Jesus because he invites all to come to him and promises a light burden and an easy yoke unlike Job’s friends we have a true friend in Jesus!