Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eliphaz the Temanite

I finished reading the Book of Job yesterday. Job's complaints were the same as my friend's: life is unfair.

At times the rough counsel Job's friends gave him reminded me of the reproofs directed at anyone who dares murmur aginst the new Mass:

Job 15:4-9
4 But you are doing away with the fear of God, and hindering meditation before God.
5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you.
7 Are you the first man that was born? Or were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Have you listened in the council of God? And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not clear to us?

Job's friends insisted, although they should have known better, that G-d was punishing Job for the great sins he must have committed. This was both callous and false, and although they were attempting to speak for the good of Job and the honor of G-d, the Lord was not pleased with Job's friends:

Job 42:7-9
7 the LORD said to Eli'phaz the Te'manite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
9 So Eli'phaz the Te'manite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Na'amathite went and did what the LORD had told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.

Job sometimes spoke unwisely, but always with an earnest desire for truth and justice. In the end, G-d did not condemn him, as He condemned Job's three friends.

There is a warning in this book, to those of us who dare offer advice, to be sure we are speaking with understanding and compassion.

More to the point for this blog, we have to be sure we are speaking the truth. (I am thinking of those who insist that "many" means "all", and who close their eyes to strong evidence to the contrary). Even if we speak with the intent of honoring G-d, if we disregard the truth, we dishonor Him.

Piety is not enough, if divorced from truth.


Good brief commentary on where Job's friends went wrong here.
The Catholic Encyclopedia article is here.

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