In Job 6:24, Job says: “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; Cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” (NKJV)
Job is, therefore, open to being taught, isn’t he? He says, “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue”!
But is he really listening?
I have two teenagers, both of which were still living at home up until September of this year, when my oldest went away to University. In my communication with them, I have learned a valuable lesson. If I sit them down and lecture them, my words will simply go in one ear and out the other. If I, instead, stop my torrent of words and actually listen to what they are trying to tell me, I often come away with a totally different understanding of the situation I was lecturing them about in the first place!
Here is a recent example: My son recently did not win a contest, one that would have assured him of a coop placement and would have looked very good on his resume. I had two choices:
1. I could have sat him down and talked to him, telling him how much I loved him, how much my heart hurt for him that he hadn’t won, etc.
2. Or I could have taken a few moments to listen to how he felt about the subject before saying anything.
I chose the second option. And I soon discovered that my son didn’t really want this coop anyway. It wasn’t in an area that he wishes to pursue in his career, and therefore he was actually happy he didn’t win!
What if I had simply talked without listening? I would have never learned the truth.
So when Job says, “Teach me and I will hold my tongue . . .” He’s has it backwards! He has to first hold his tongue in order to start to see things from God’s perspective!
Isn’t this so typical of most of our prayers? We talk, we weep, we bitterly complain, we beg. There is only one thing we typically don’t do: We typically don’t stop to listen! Friends, if we want answers, we have to stop our complaining and listen!
And this is what Job finally did, but not for another 20+ chapters! “Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me . . .” (Job 31:35 NKJV)
He goes on for another few verses after this: “That my Prosecutor had written a book! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, And bind it on me like a crown; I would declare to Him the number of my steps; like a prince I would approach Him. If my land cries out against me, And its furrows weep together; If I have eaten its fruit without money, Or caused its owners to lose their lives; Then let thistles grow instead of wheat, And weeds instead of barley.” (Job 31:35-40 NKJV)
And then that is the end of Job’s words. He finally stops to listen.
And what does he first hear?
I’d like to say he immediately heard the answers he craved, but alas, poor Job was doomed to hear more chapters of empty words from a fourth friend, Elihu (See Job 32-37). But then, God answers Job. And God’s words change his heart, turning him around, driving him to repentance for his self-righteousness:
“Then Job answered the Lord and said: ‘I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6 NKJV)
And what happens? The last part of this chapter states that Job was reinstated in his former position with twice the wealth of before.
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