Reposted from Old Paths Journal
“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?”
Have you ever walked into a room that was totally dark and you had to find the light switch on the other side of the room? When you walk into a darkened room, you may think you know where everything is, but you can’t see everything because it is dark. You stumble through the room as you feel your way, nearly falling a couple of times until finally you find the light switch and turn it on. When the light is turned on, everything becomes clear because with the lighting you can see the room exactly like it is.
This is very much what God was saying in the verse above. God asked, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” In other words, God was accusing the friends of Job of trying to give counsel without knowing the whole story. When you read the Book of Job, you see that these three men truly accused Job of facing his hardship without knowing the whole story. They didn’t know that Satan had appeared before God and asked permission to touch him. They didn’t know that God had bragged on Job and his Christianity. They didn’t know that God had given permission to touch every part of Job but his life. Yet, they gave their counsel to Job without knowledge. Their counsel was darkened because they did not know the whole story.
Imagine how different their responses would have been had they known that Job was personally being attacked by Satan. They would not have been have been accusing him of not being right with God, but they probably would have become his cheerleaders as he faced Satan head on. They probably would have encouraged him instead of accusing him. Yet, because their counsel was darkened, they said things that were foolish that did not apply to Job’s situation.
A great lesson can be learned by all. The lesson to be learned is that we would be better off holding our judgment of why someone is facing hardships instead of giving our opinion without knowing the whole story. Nobody truly knows why people face the hardships they face. We don’t know what is going on in the background. We don’t know if God allows a person to face Satan face to face or if they are facing His judgment. Three responses should be learned from this story.
First, don’t accuse people of something when you don’t know the whole story. It may truly seem as though someone is facing the judgment of God, but we do not know. It is a guess at best because we are not God. You would be wise to hold your judgment of individuals even though you may think you know the whole story.
Second, don’t give your opinions; instead, use the Word of God as your basis for advice and counsel. All of these men who answered Job were giving their opinions instead of using the Word of God. You will always find yourself on the right side when you use the Word of God to answer instead of opinion. People don’t need to hear your opinion, but they need to hear God’s Word. Let God’s Word be your answer to every situation.
Third, be quicker to encourage than to accuse. If these men would have used their time to encourage Job, they would have found themselves on God’s side. Let God deal with the heart of the Christian. You simply need to encourage them to go on for Christ. Encouraging people will help you to be there for them when they come to the realization of their shortcomings.
Friend, it is always easy to give our opinions and judge why people face troubled situations. Be careful about giving darkened counsel. Let God turn the light on before you speak for Him. In the mean time, encourage people and use God’s Word as your answer.