God Told Me, No Really He Did
(I apologize for not posting something on Job chapter 3. We discussed that chapter around our dinner table on Saturday evening. Our conversation mostly centered around the fact that suffering can often, like Job, produce feelings that wish we would have never been born. Job says that he would rather have not been born than to have been given so much and then had it taken away. We also spoke about the fact that Job never mentions committing suicide.)
- Read Job chapter 4 as a family
I am not an individual who believes that we should take words of knowledge too seriously. I do believe that God reveals things to people in dreams because he spoke to Joseph and others this way throughout the Scriptures. But I do not believe that it is the normative way by which God speaks, especially after the cannon of Scripture closed.
Eliphaz was a godly and wise man. He surely was one of the wisest in all of the land during the time period of Job. Yet Eliphaz was unable to discern whether he heard from God or not during the dream he had presumably while sleeping on the ground during his seven days of silence.
When someone comes and says God told me thus and so, be very cautious. It might be that God wants you to know something through this individual, but it wouldn’t be anything he hasn’t already revealed to you in the Bible.
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
The principle that Eliphaz adopts here is called the retribution principle. This principle says that God normatively controls his world by punishing those who sin, and blesses those who are righteous. This principle is a principle that we see in the Bible. Yet Eliphaz also holds to the reverse principle which says all pain and suffering is the direct result of sin; and likewise all blessing is the result of righteousness. Job’s suffering does not fit in with this principle. God has not given us the authority to make such claims.
- Has anyone ever claimed to have a word from God for you?
- Was it essentially the quotation of a Bible verse?
- If that was the case, it would be better if the person opened up their Bible and simply read the verse then to claim God told them something.
- If it wasn’t a quotation from the Bible, how might such a claim be verified? How could we know what God might have whispered to them in the night?
- If such claims are unable to be verified, should we take them seriously?