Who’s the Smartest?
Today’s reading: Job 15:1-18:21
My selection: Job 15:9-10
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
older than your father.
My reflections: The dialogue with Job now enters the second cycle but the quality of the conversation does not improve. Eliphaz picks up on Job’s comments in which he compares their wisdom and intelligence retorting (in essence) that “we are as smart as you are” and “we could teach your father a thing or two.”
This sort of argument is generally fruitless as it tries to establish intellectual superiority in order to discredit every statement by the opponent. Job’s friends stand together against him so he is outnumbered. They take turns accosting him while he continues in pain and anguish.
At this point, the debaters have quit addressing the issue and started attacking their opponent. The original question of “why is Job suffering?” has given way to “who of us is the wisest?” It has become a battle of egos.
My challenge: Be humble in debate. Stick to the issue and avoid character attacks which show you have no argument. Make your words soft as you may have to eat them at any time.
Tomorrow’s reading: Job 19:1-21:34