Much effort, time and money has been spent in this country and others to rid ourselves of termites. They are a relentless destructive force that can silently destroy entire neighborhoods before the residents even are aware of it. They are regarded as a menace nearly everywhere.
I think Job’s ‘friend’ Eliphaz the Temanite, while meaning good, has shown himself to be a rather destructive force. Job needed someone to simply grieve with him. He did not need a lecture, or ‘counsel’.
However, even termites it seems can have a useful purpose. One very surprising discovery is that termites can produce nearly half a gallon of hydrogen from digesting a single sheet of paper. Thus, these destructive little insects could prove to be our fuel-supply salvation. That which seemed evil and destructive may be incredibly beneficial.
And I see that even Eliphaz the Termite did have some good counsel mixed with his windbag diatribe.
But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the chastening of the Almighty when you sin. For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal. – Job 5:17-18
I know that it is good counsel because God chose to have it repeated in the New Testament.
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. – Hebrews 12:10-11
Wisdom and good can be found in the most unlikely places. Upon seeing it, my responsibility, as with any truth of God, is to choose to live by it and accept it. Or I may find myself fighting against God. And that my friends is a bad place to be. Because, as we’ve just read, he does discipline his own.
Father, may I listen for your rebukes and do what you say so that I don’t need your chastening. In Jesus’ name, Amen.