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Empty Nothings

Written by The Colson Center - Worldview Bible on . Posted in The Colson Center - Worldview Bible

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Empty Nothings

Job 21:34
“How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

The Story: So there! Job believes he has turned the tables on his accusers, rebutting their arguments and rebuking them thoroughly. He rejects their “empty nothings” and the “falsehood” they have tried to foist on him. He’s right and they’re wrong. Eliphaz, we shall see, is not impressed. Neither is God. Comfort: that’s what Job is seeking, not explanations. We feel the pain of that word in Job’s summation. When people are suffering, our best explanations, even if they are true, can be little more than “empty nothings” if we fail to give them the comfort of understanding and love. It is not God-like to flaunt your “insights” and hammer away at someone just because you think you know better than they do what their problem is. It is God-like to understand, show compassion, and offer comfort. The fact that Job understands this shows that he is several rungs higher than his “friends” on the spiritual maturity ladder.

The Structure: We’re soon to meet a young man with some excellent insights to this situation. He’ll say some hard things as well, but we get the sense that his words actually do ring true. Suppose you were able to step in at this point in Job’s life to offer him the “comfort” he desires. How would you do that?

Comfort is not a “one size fits all” practice. What would you suggest as some guidelines for determining how best to comfort one who is in the midst of suffering?

Job
For a deeper look at the book of Job, order Carol A. Newsom’s
The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations from our online store.

The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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