Summary: We must be careful in ministering not to "jump the gun" on our assessments of a situation and choosing our words carefully is a must.

Worthless Physicians

I. Introduction

A. Situation

1. Have you ever stuck your foot in your mouth? Let me tell you about me.

a. For the first 20 years of my adult life, I could brush my teeth, use Listerine, and

my breathe would still smell like boot leather and toe jam! I grew up on a cattle

farm so that leather had a pretty bad flavor at times.

b. Finally, I learned my bad breath was self-inflicted, so I began to think before I


c. That just led me to have an opinion about everything. There was no doubt that

it was right, so I owed it to the world to share.

2. Looking back, I was like, “don’t confuse me with the facts, my minds made up!”

B. Results

1. Jas. 3:7-8 – “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

2. Sometimes the old foot in the mouth, hurts more than just us.

3. Others are hurt, even when no harm is intended.

II. Body – Today’s Lesson

A. Recap of the story of Job.

1. Job – The epitome of patience.

2. Job lost children, livestock, and servants. He was stricken with sores from head to toe.

3. Proof that we live in a fallen world. Bad things do happen to good people.

4. Satan can only do to us what God allows him to do.

5. Job is in deep mourning when Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, Elihu the Buzite come to call.

6. It’s their reaction to Job’s trials that I want to focus on in this lesson. Too many times we are guilty of the same thing. We must weigh our words, we must realize that we never know everything about a situation.

B. Job’s Friends

1. These guys didn’t just walk across the pasture to see Job. They lived in some proximity of each other in Arabia Deserta/modern day Saudi Arabia. They cared

about Job. This was concerted effort to come to Job in his time of need.

2. The first seven days they did themselves and Job a favor. The sat there quietly.

3. They each had Job’s situation figured out and “scripture” to prove it!

a. Job 3 – Eliphaz hears Job curse the day of his birth and responds in Job 4:7-8,

“Consider now, who being innocent has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.”

b. Job 17 – Bildad hears Job declare his spirit was broken and his name had become a byword. Job had done no wrong and by human standards did not deserve what he was enduring; but it would not register with Bildad or the others. Paraphrased, Bildad indicates Job takes them for idiots. Inferred is that they knew why he was suffering and offers this observation about the consequences of Job’s “sin” in Job 18:19, “He has no offspring or descendants among his people.” Great thing to say to a man who recently lost his children to no fault of his own; then reflecting upon the immediate conditions surrounding Job in vs 21 this friend says, “Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who knows not God.”

c. Job 10 – Zophar hears Job asking God, “Why me and declare his innocence?” Zophar says to Job in Job. 11:4-6, “Oh, how I wish that God would open His lips and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom… God has even forgotten some of your sins!” He goes on in chapter 20 and lambasts Job again.

d. Job 32:1 ff – Elihu the younger of the four does his famous Joe Mack at age 25.

i. Not only is he angry at Job; he’s angry at the other three because they could not convince Job of his sin.

ii. Job 33:1 – “But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say…” and says in vs. 3, “My words come from an upright heart, my lips sincerely speak what I know.”

3. These guys took multiple shots at their friend and were adamant that he had sinned.

a. Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!

b. If you do good, good things will be yours. If things aren’t good, you HAD to sin!

c. It was almost like they couldn’t contain themselves or their bad theology!

III. God’s Word Can Be Dangerous in the Wrong Hands

A. II Tim. 2:15 – “Study to show thyself approved, rightly dividing the word of God…”

1. Scholars take this verse in its original context to mean understanding the difference

in the Old Testament law and New Testament teachings; but it can also apply to us

when we make that famous statement, “We speak where the bible speaks and we’re

silent where the Bible is silent.”

2. We can believe something as strongly as Job’s friends did and still be wrong.

3. Bad Theology is just that, bad for everyone, regardless of harmless intent in its usage. Here I want to emphasize, I think their intentions were good, their approach was lousy.

4. Job was strong enough to withstand the improper assessments of his friends;

however, many are not!

5. Ministering to others doesn’t always require our opinion; sometimes it just requires

our ears and a shoulder.

B. What did Job say about his friends.

1. After the first round of accusations by the three older friends, Job’s rebuttal is found in Job 13. Job found no solace in his friends’ company or perspective. He states in vs. 3, “I desire to speak to the Almighty, and to argue my case with God.” In vs. 4, “You smear me with lies; you are Worthless Physicians, all of you!”

. 2. They would have done themselves a favor by staying quiet.

3. Their diagnosis and prescription were wrong.

C. What did God say to Job’s friends? Job 42:7

1. “I am angry with you because you have not spoken of Me what is right…”

2. “Job will pray for you and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according

to your folly.”

III. Closing

1. We are all called to minister.

2. It is a responsibility we cannot take lightly.

3. We will answer for methods.

4. Assuming we know all there is about a situation is never safe.

5. As we strive to help others, let’s first pray that God opens our eyes and our hearts and

gives us the wisdom to let Him guide us as we serve Him by helping others.

* Remember God wants us speaking for Him, but He doesn’t want us putting words in

His mouth.