Like a thornbush in a drunkard's hand, is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

Proverbs 26:9, NIV 


As we read the book of Job and all of the advice that his so-called friends have for him, it begins to dawn on us that much of what Job's friends had to say was technically true. How, for example, could you argue with Eliphaz's statement when he said, "Agree with God and be at peace" (Job 22:21), or his friend Bildad when he said, "Dominion and fear are with God" (Job 25:1), or with Zophar when he said of God "He is manifold in His understanding" (Job 11:6)


The problem with Job's friends (other than the fact that they were not very friendly) is that, while they indeed uttered spiritual truths,  it was so often out of pure spite and meanness that these spiritual truths were of no benefit to anyone. Their use of God's principles was very much like a thornbush in the hands of a drunk: Anyone standing too close while they were being used were likely to get hurt.


There is a lesson for us today in the way that Job's friends handled the truths of God: We are not to use His words as a weapon against our fellow men. It will do our friends no good, and it will cast the word of God in an evil light. It will be like Job said when he finally indicated to his friends that they were "miserable comforters". What the friends may have sincerely meant as words of comfort, in reality ended up in depressing Job even further. One of the cautions that we must take as Christians is to make sure that we do our best to use God's words in the right way, lest we end up turning away those loved ones that we were wanting to bring closer to the Lord.


It is a very real challenge to correctly handle the word of truth, but we must do our best to master this art of presenting God's words in their proper light. If we do, then we will bring people closer to the saving blood of Jesus. But, if we do not, we risk pushing them even farther away by our mishandling of God's holy Word. It's something to think about.


Like a lame man's legs , which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

Proverbs 26:7, RSV


Today is day 7 of the 30 day challenge to read through the books of wisdom, with Job 22-28 being the reading for today. May God richly bless your efforts as you seek to correctly handle His words of truth!