Job uses an oxymoron (contradicting words - miserable comforters – Job 16: 2) to effectively tell his friends - "Y'all not helping me here!"
Note though, feelings such as Job expresses in the text don't only arise from the utterance of incorrect theology; they can also come from truth as well. Jesus did say, "Think not that I'm come to send peace... but a sword," (Matt 10: 34).
So Jesus, the epitome of love and sensitivity, was hated and eventually killed because of the inconvenient truth He declared - so were many prophets (Elijah, Jeremiah) before Him, and His contemporary, John the Baptist. All His Apostles were hated, and most were brutally slain, as were many followers throughout the ages since His ascension.
Now there are those of us who do know the truth, but are arrogant with it. So we unduly criticize and speak down to those who are otherwise persuaded - thus provoking undue resistance to the truth and a dislike for ourselves individually and for those who believe as we do. If it is that persons are offended by us, it shouln't be because we have the wrong theology, or a bad attitude; it should be as it was with Jesus; they dislike the "inconvenient truth." Misery is subjective and really does depend on who is listening; one will take something kindly, but another will become livid. A safe guide is to share truth as Jesus did. It might get us killed, but at least Heaven will approve.
So in concluding, there are three types of Miserable Comforters:
1. The Job's Friends' Type - wrong theology, wrong attitude
2. The Jesus' Type - right theology, right attitude
3. The Arrogant Type - right theology, wrong attitude
Actually there's one missing; the one with the wrong theology and the right attitude. Ever gone to a funeral and heard that the one to be buried is actually in Heaven already? This usually shared with such conviction and assurance that it sure makes you feel better (if you don't know better). But when you do know better, it brings no comfort. We could call this "comforter:" The Ignorant Type - wrong theology, right attitude.
Father in Heaven, please grant us the right attitude to not be "disturbed" by Your truth, but to be drawn to it. Then as we have received it may we with love, humility, and sincerity of heart share it with others we pray in Jesus' name, amen.
This reading is based on Job 16. To read and/or listen to Job 16 and to read other related blogs please click here.