Correctness over compassion - Job 3

This is a sermon by Melvin Tinker from the morning service on 28th January 2018.

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Correctness over Compassion

Job 3-41


  • Where is God when your world is falling apart?

The case of Joseph Parker




  • Sincere but sincerely wrong

Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar represent a certain kind of believer:

‘My mind is made up - don’t confuse me with the facts’.

Job represents a certain believer: ‘Gimme some truth’.




  • The Case in Court

This is a ‘philosophical courtroom’

The cases are laid out: 1) God is just, 2) Job is righteous, and 3) the retribution principle is true. All three can’t be true at the same time. Job maintains his righteousness; his friends maintain the retribution principle at the cost of Job’s righteousness.




  • The Retribution Principle

Eliphaz 4:7-9: ‘You reap what you sow’.

Claims to have had a special revelation confirming this, 4:12-17.


Job’s response in 9:5ff shows he towers above his friends in his view of God.


Bildad 8:1-10 claims tradition to be on his side.


Zophar 11:2ff engages in an inquisition.





  • Too Convenient

To the question: ‘If God is so good why are things so bad?’ Job’s comforters would answer ‘It must be because you are so bad.’


Job insists that it does not apply in his case - the theology is too tidy and too convenient.





  • How not to be a Job’s comforter

They didn’t really hear Job. Their beliefs mattered more than the truth.

They didn’t pray for Job. They had a theology about God but didn’t pray to God. Only Job prays in this story.





  • Character counts

Job resolutely refused to sacrifice his integrity on the altar of expediency - looking for an easy way out.




Job didn’t want a theoretical problem solving - he wanted to meet with God - 29:1-5.



We are to settle for nothing less.









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