Flavorless Words

Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass, or the ox low over his fodder? Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow? My appetite refuses to touch them; they are as food that is loathsome to me.
Job 6:5-7
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Flavorless Words
“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  This old saying reminds us that our words do matter and they do affect others.  Often times an ill-thought-out word meant for sympathy only adds to the pain and suffering.  This is Job’s response to Eliphaz and all the advice he had given him.  Yes, Job was crying out because he was in real pain and torment, just as animals cry out when hunger pains strike them.  And Eliphaz’s word were as appetizing as the juice of the mallow. They were as tasteless as an unseasoned dish.  His words were empty and shallow because they were confusing God’s Word with man’s reason. When we see someone in Job’s position, when, like Eliphaz, we are not suffering, we assume they have brought it onto themselves.  We offer flavorless words when we accuse God of being cruel and vindictive.  Yet these flavorless words hide a deadly poison. One which plunges us into despair as we assume God has abandoned us or worse is torturing us.  However, when God’s Word of life is given the hearer is refreshed and uplifted.  The pain may still be there, but despair is vanquished.  Christ drank the bitter cup of God’s wrath so that you would not have to.  And now Christ offers you the bread of life, so that you may never hunger again. For we “feast on the abundance of your house, and you give [us] drink from the river of your delights.” (Psalm 36:8)  
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