Where did any of Job''s counserlors speak heresy or error? Where did they not give God glory or did not speak in awe of Him? None of them could be charged with speaking wrong doctrines or being unaquainted with God's ways. There words were filled with reverence for God and represented sound thinking. They even discerned that Job tended to justify himsel in his integrity before God. Yet God said to them
And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Job 42:7
The problem with Job's counselors was not that they were saying things that were not true, but that they were saying true things that had nothing to do with God's reality at the time. They were using God's truths according to their own understanding. The truths they brought forth did not express God's mind in Job's situation. They were probably sincere in their desire to solve and shed light on Job's predicament, but they were wrong. True things can be spoken but become profane in God's eyes because they are misused or misapplied.
Today, men are using God's truths to devise systems to do everything from Sunday school, to evangelism, to discipleship, to growing the church. They are the modern day Job's counselors. Often, no one can fault the truths they are using. But God's truths were never meant to be handled and directed and used by men. They are ever and always in the sole province of God. While God can and does call on men to express those truths in specific situations, He never intended that men would use His words to take the initiative to accomplish a good goal or fulfill a commandment.
One of the most frequent statements I hear from church members is: "My pastor preaches only from the bible and is doctrinally sound." If one has such a pastor, there are faring better than most. But, ultimately, such a pastor could well miss God and be as a Job's counselor who has incurred God's wrath. There is too little awe and respect for what God has to say in any given situation. We assume that if we can say true things out of the scripture, God is pleased with us.
It is only the word that comes forth from His mouth that will not return void. It is only the word that comes forth from His mouth that will break the rock asunder and set the captive free. . There is a vast difference, the difference of life and death, between God speaking through a man and a man speaking words of truth that God has said. Those words may set no one free and can return void. God's words remain God's words and are not meant for us to borrow or repeat as we see fit. Man must still live by every word that proceeeds out to fthe mouth of God.
Isaiah 66 also speaks of the situation where ministers were doing right things, wrongly. In that chapter God tells us what type of person He looks for - one who is " poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word": Not those who know how to package His word and create a dynamic, thrilling sermon; not those who want to have all their "i's" dotted and their "t's" crossed; not those who are trying to pass on biblical information or make their church prosperous. God's word is life and creates life and gives life.
Are all those correct sermons producing life? Does that life look like the life spoken of by Jesus and the Apostles? Or has the church so devolved that it equates life with a good message, or a good worship service, or "I really liked church today"? Such words are neither turning Chrisians upside down nor the world. Most sermons of today are producing Christians that look like the world, act like the world, pursue the world, and cling to the world. Such things are spiritualized and endorsed under the guise of evangelism - "we have to be like them to attract them". How contrary that is to what Jesus and the Apostles preached and practiced!
The speaking of many right truths and words is killing Christianity and the church. It is the device of Satan to use God's word to suit his intentions. The church needs to hear the right truths, in the right situation, at the rigth time, and spoken out of a right spirit. The nagging thought that brings sobriety to any preaching is: Who is sufficient for such things?" To such a one, God is most apt to speak His words through. It seems to me the only way to prepare for speaking to God's people is by spending much time in one's face before God, not daring to construct a message until "God has spoken". The church is dying for lack of life and the only cure is for ministers (all of us, not just "leaders") to speak God's word of Life received from the throneroom in the days before.
Man must return to the prime injunction that Jesus lived His life by: Thou shalt live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.