Acts 4:1-22; Deuteronomy 19-20; Job 13
There are always “those” kids in each class. You know the kind I mean. They will talk on any subject and they will talk back on any occasion. It doesn’t matter if what they say is relevant to any discussion that may be going on in class; they just like to hear the sound of their own voice, or so it seems. Sometimes I get so exasperated with kids who act like that that I will look them in the eye and say, “Oh that you would be silent. For you, that would be wisdom.” (Job 13:5) Job’s friends prompted that exasperated outburst as they spoke general truths and platitudes about God and His ways without looking at Job’s situation. If you read the speeches of Job’s friends without realizing that they are speaking to Job, they reflect many of the Biblical ideals that we profess on a daily basis. An overly simplified version of what the friends are saying would be that “If you do right, God will bless you. If you do wrong, God will punish you. You’re being punished, so examine yourself and confess your sin to God.” The friends spoke for God without knowing God’s purpose and plan in Job’s life and assumed that the testing God was allowing was punishment for sin. Sometimes bad things happen to people because they sin and make bad decisions. Sometimes bad things happen because we live in a sinful world and other people make bad decisions. Our job, as followers of Christ, is not to chastise those in difficult times. Our job in those situations is to find ways to comfort. Let God deal with any sin or any other problem: we are to love the people we come into contact with.
Lord God, life is hard for everyone. It’s so easy to make snap judgments on other people. Give me the grace not to judge those going through difficult times; rather let me show them Your grace and forgiving love. Use me as Your instrument of reconciliation to help restore their relationship with You.