After reading over half-way through the Book of Job—I want to pronounce it Jäb, as in Bob—I’ve found three surprises: First, much of Job’s friends’ prattling is true, even if wrongly applied to the poor guy. Second, at times, even the godly revert to self-pity when the going gets really, extremely, bone-crushingly rough. And related to #2, God is gracious even to those who accuse him wrongly. Third, the whole book is the perfect text on how not to “minister” to one who is in dire straits.
The whole story clearly reveals the fact that profound truths, when tossed about carelessly, quickly become truisms, destined to be just as carelessly tossed aside. History reveals a few Bible preachers who, by God’s Holy Spirit, led great revivals, and yes, they were technically Bible-thumpers. Experience, however, reveals far more Bible-thumping preachers who wield God’s Word not as the two-edged sword that it is, but as a spirit-bashing bludgeon.