Summary: Indentify and correct the two false assumptions many Christians hold
This past week, we dropped off Esther at my parents for a few days to train her to stay overnight. We had forgotten to bring diapers for Esther, so Susan and I went to Walgreen to buy diapers. I walked in and asked someone, "Where do you have diapers?"
The lady looked at Susan and I, and then said, "Aisle 24." When we got to aisle 24, we found shelves full of adult diapers. Susan and I looked at each other and began to laugh. Soon our laughter turned into upset, because we realized we had been insulted.
The lady at Walgreen assumed that since we didn’t have a child with us, we were asking for adult diapers, not baby diapers. What we assume to be true, we act on. But when what we assume to be true turns out to be false, we end up with wrong conclusions. And wrong conclusions can lead to wrong actions in life.
A pastor told about how he had to rushed his baby daughter to the emergency room to have her stomach pumped. She was born without the ability to smell. One day, she was crawling around on the floor, and she came upon a bowl of turpentine, paint thinner. It looked like milk, and she couldn’t smell. So she drank a bit and got very sick.
False assumptions can lead to wrong conclusions, and wrong conclusions can lead to wrong actions. In some cases, we can laugh at the outcome of our false assumptions. In other cases, false assumptions can be deadly.
Most of us are living with some false assumptions. Our parents, our teachers, our culture, the media, all have input into our lives. And some of those inputs are false assumptions.
For instance, many young people have the false assumption that a good marriage is built on a diamond ring, good feelings and compatibility. Such false assumptions lead to the wrong conclusion, that nothing else is needed to build a good marriage. And the result is inaction after marriage, which often leads to disappointment, disillusionment and even divorce.
On the other hand, those who are married and experience a rewarding marriage know that hard work, forgiveness and self-sacrifice must be part of the equation for a good marriage. False assumptions lead to wrong conclusions, which lead to wrong actions.
This morning, we continue with our study in the book of Job, and we will look at two false assumptions that can produce significant harm in our own lives and in the lives of people who would listen to our false assumptions. We are in chapter 8 of Job. Before I read for us, let me review a bit for those who have not been with us and for those who have been with us but can’t remember we’ve ever looked into the book of Job.
The book of Job is an epic poem that deals with the problem of suffering. And the problem of suffering is complicated by incomplete knowledge of the cause of suffering. Neither Job nor his friends, who were supposed to be comforting him, know that Job’s suffering was the result of a contest between God and Satan.
Satan says to God, "The only reason Job is worshipping you is because you’ve blessed his life with wisdom, wealth, health and family. Take away the blessings and watch Job curse You."
And God replied, "Go ahead, take away the blessings, and you’ll see that Job will not curse Me."
By chapter 3, Job’s children had all died. Poverty replaced Job’s wealth. A terrible disease robbed Job of his health. Self-pity replaced Job’s wisdom. Death became a welcomed friend to Job.
In chapters 4 and 5, Job’s friend, Eliphaz, speaks out. But instead of comforting Job, Eliphaz condemns Job for not applying his own teaching to endure suffering, and Eliphaz closes with platitudes.
Job responds with angry words in chapters 6 and 7. He points out that Eliphaz simply hasn’t understood the magnitude of suffering he is under. Job, feeling like God has abandoned him, is begging for compassion and devotion from his friends.
And in chapter 8, the second of three friends responds to Job’s words. Bildad the Brutal or Bildad the Babbler speaks out. (READ Job 8)
With a comforter like Bildad, you don’t need an enemy. Bildad failed to feel Job’s pain. As a result, Bildad assumed Job needed correction rather than comfort.
Bildad made other false assumptions also. He assumed he knew what was happening to Job. He assumed that people always get what they deserve. He assumed there was no exception. He assumed Job’s situation would improve if Job trusted in God. But we know from chapters 1 and 2 that Job did trust God, and things got worse.
False assumptions add insult to injury. People who are suffering need to know what the Bible says about God and about suffering. The sooner we identify false assumptions and correct them, the sooner we can live healthier lives. Let’s identify and correct the false assumptions of Bildad.