1,861 words

by DanWolgemuth on March 12, 2010

1,861 words…

Eloquent, at times poetic, powerful… and completely empty.

Eliphaz the Temanite was one of the "friends" of Job. The lead friend.

In his rush to judge, in his desire to unravel, in his passion to fit Job’s circumstances inside the context of his own theology, he spewed 1,861 words of condemnation, of shame, of rejection, and misunderstanding (Job 42:7 – "My anger burns against you… for you have not spoken of me what is right…" – this, from the mouth of God!)

Eliphaz raced to put a bow on the scrap heap of Job’s circumstances… and in doing so he exposed his own ignorance. He also failed his friend.

Vulnerable and tender, Job was an easy target for Eliphaz and his assassin bullets. Eliphaz’ inability to comprehend the mind of God hijacked his good intentions and subjugated them to the need to defend God… to explain the unexplainable… to a place that shines the light on tendencies in my own heart and mind.

Blame dispensed and judgment delivered… and the pain, the vacuum, and the grief swelled. Eliphaz misunderstood the shoulders of God. He narrowed them. Shrinking them to a width that fit neatly inside of his need to protect the reputation of the Almighty.

God needed no such deliverance. His shoulders are broad. His mercy is new. His love is infinite. His hope is boundless. No bows are necessary… just honesty, vulnerability and authenticity.

Today I fear that I have been Eliphaz. To family. To friends. With my lips and in my heart… a bodyguard for the Almighty… how absurd.

"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"  ~ Job 38:1

Words without knowledge…

"Father, forgive me for the times that I have reached for the script of Eliphaz instead of the arms of Jesus. Your ego is not fragile, your shoulders are not narrow… forgive me."

Needing His grace, extending His love, awed by His power.


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