Summary: 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.
One day a Mom & Dad dropped off their baby at the babysitters house. They had forgotten to bring diapers for her , so they went to Walgreens to buy diapers. They I walked in and asked someone, "Where do you have diapers?"The lady looked at them and then said, "Aisle 24." When they got to aisle 24,they found shelves full of adult diapers. They looked at each other and began to laugh. But Soon their laughter turned into upset, because they realized they had been insulted.The lady at Walgreen’s assumed that since they didn’t have a child with them, they were asking for adult diapers, not baby diapers.
What we assume to be true, we act on. And
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. 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.
This morning, we continue with our study in the book of Job, and we will look at some false assumptions . We are in chapter 8 of Job. 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. 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. 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 speaks out. (READ Job Ch.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. Job’s friends’ theology was right as far as it went, but it was very incomplete. They never seemed to be aware of that. They always spoke with the utmost confidence that what they were saying was the final word on the subject. There was no apparent understanding that perhaps there were aspects of God and dimensions to his Word that they had not yet seen.
(This is certainly true of Bildad at this point, and of the next speaker, Zophar.) Their narrow, limited vision said that difficulties in a person’s life were always caused by sin. Now many of the problems of life are caused by sin, therefore, it is impossible to say to these men that they are wrong. evertheless, they do not see that there are other reasons why God brings us into suffering. Like many of us today, they judge only on the basis of a very rigid theology that takes note of certain aspects of truth, but ignores others.
Like the famous story of the blind men and the elephant. They gather around this huge animal and by feeling it, try to identify what an elephant is like. One, grabbing the trunk, said an elephant is like a snake. Another, feeling the leg, said an elephant is like a tree. Still another, feeling the side of the animal, said that an elephant is like a wall. A fourth, grabbing the tail, said an elephant is like a rope. Thus they argued back and forth. All of them were right, and all of them were wrong, because they did not see the whole picture.
Bildad 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.