Are we moving BEYOND OURSELVES to BLESS OTHERS? But Job answered and said: "How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength? How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? And how have you declared sound advice to many? To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit came from you?" (Job 26:1-4)
The above passage is the beginning portion of Job’s reply (chapters 26–31) in the third series of verbal exchanges with his three friends-turned-accusers. Through this lengthy, uninterrupted discourse, Job appears to sum up all his arguments just like an attorney presenting a closing argument before a jury in the court. These are in fact Job’s final words of self-defense as he attempts to vindicate himself from all the accusations of his three friends, and these words reveal Job’s exasperation with his friend’s faulty application of the doctrine of retribution.
As Job begins his lengthy reply, he directs his attention mainly to Bildad and asks six important questions that are so relevant to our lives as well:
- How have you helped him who is without power? This speaks about assisting those who are powerless in the face of calamities that have ravaged against their lives. God gives power to those who are weak through us today as the prophet Isaiah proclaimed: "He gives power to the weak" (Isa. 40:29a)
- How have you saved the arm that has no strength? This speaks about strengthening those who are weak and cannot rise above from their current miserable existence. God increases strength to those who have no might through us today, as the prophet Isaiah again continued: "and to those who have no might He increases strength" (Isa. 40:29b).
- How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? This speaks about giving good counsel to those who are lost in the path of life, as "in a multitude of counselors there is safety" (Prov. 11:14).
- And how have you declared sound advice to many? This speaks about offering good suggestions to people who need help in different phases of their lives. "Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established" (Prov. 15:22).
- To whom have you uttered words? What Job means is that God wants us to speak words of encouragement and lift up people who are down in the pits of despondency: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness" (Gal. 6:1).
- And whose spirit came from you? Finally Job is asking to test the spirit that is driving every action in our lives. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God…by this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God." (1 John 4:1-3)
Let us also move beyond ourselves in order to bless others through our words and actions!