More than half of the book of Job (chapters 4-37) is taken up with Job vigorously debating the nature of his suffering with his friends – though they prove to be poor friends! On Sunday we dived right into the first speech of one of the friends (Job 4-5).
On one hand it contains a good deal of truth, and the New Testament quotes from it approvingly (1 Corinthians 3:19). It is true that God punishes evil (Job 4:8-11), humans are not as righteous as God (4:17), there is hope in the face of injustice (5:16) and that God disciplines in order to restore blessing (5:17-26).
But on the other hand, at the end of the book of Job God rebukes this friend and the others that they have not spoken what is right about God – like Job has! (Job 42:7) It seems that the main problem is not the truths they have but what they do with them. They assume that because Job is suffering he must be suffering due to sin.
But the book of Job has already shown us that is not the reason Job is suffering. The solution the book of Job offers is not giving Job or his friends more information. They don’t get given the explanation that is given to us as readers. The truth is not enough – it is absolutely essential – but not enough.
James 2:19 says that even demons have truth.