The word “Caveat” is a legal term for warning or caution. Job’s friends had been adamant in their judgment of Job. He has just given them an example of his faith in the Living God. See Job 19:25-27. Now Job gives them a word of warning concerning their judgments of him.
“But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.” Job 19:28-29 (KJB)
“If you should say, ‘How shall we persecute him?– Since the root of the matter is found in me, be afraid of the sword for yourselves; for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, that you may know there is a judgment.” Job 19:28-29 (NKJV)
I give you two different versions of Scripture for clearer understanding on this matter.
We hear folks tell us often “Do not judge”. You know what? Everybody judges. If we did not make judgments we would be fools, and led around like a trained monkey, doing someone else’s bidding. I know, I know, Jesus said “Judge not”, but those who are always pointing out that Jesus said that, do not much care for anything else He said.
Job was making the judgment of the possibility that these tragedies happening in his life might just be a trial, a test by God; for examining his faith. Remember Job did not know about the scene in heaven, and that God had given Satan permission to afflict Job to prove to the devil the faith of Job.
The judgments of his friends were harsh, mean, and possibly came out of jealousy from Job’s great wealth that he had had. Their only explanation was “This is God’s judgment, because Job has sinned greatly against God, and his neighbors”.
“That you may know there is a judgment” was Job’s words of warning to his friends – Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. There is wrath that comes on evil, and it comes from the sword of the LORD God. That is what the friends needed to hear, know, and take heed to.
We do make judgments everyday. We are not to make judgments like Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Because of Job’s pain, he may have spoke from his pain, feeling rejected by God; who would not in similar circumstances. Their words were words of condemnation. Friends should have spoken words of encouragement, hope, grace, and mercy to such an sufferer.
Let me leave you this morning with the words of Jesus…
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1 (KJB)
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven…” Luke 6:37
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24
Let us leave the judgment for sin; when we see a brother or sister in Christ suffering; in the hands of God. We have no idea what is going on in their lives. God does.