He wounds but he binds up?
“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed. ... “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal. (Job 4:7-9; 5:17-18 ESV)
Eliphaz the Temanite, one of Job's dear friends is the first to speak to the man covered in boils. And what words does he now offer to his hurting friend. Does he speak words of consolation and hope? No. His words, which fill up two chapters, are laced with veiled accusations against Job. His central premise is that Job sinned and God judged. His bad and sad advice to Job is to accept responsibility for the tragedy that has befallen Job and his wife.
Have you ever heard people say such things? I have. Many, like Eliphaz, suffer under the misconception that their wounds come from the judging hands of God. Using the words in this passage they justify God by saying that he heals what he hurts. Can you imagine an earthly father using this defense before a judge? It is a damaging theology that stifles the grieving process. For how can one trust their grieving heart to One who has caused them so much pain?
You are good Lord God. You heal what evil hurts. You mend what men destroy. You remain ever trustable.