Job’s friend continues to give him advice and insight into how God works. It is somewhat ironic that Job who is considered one of the most righteous people on the earth, at least according to God, is given a sermon on how God operates. Here he is, scraping himself with a pot shard, mourning the loss of all that he holds dear, and a friend is giving him direction and insight and speaking non-stop to try to teach him something. Sometimes we just need a friend to sit in the dust with us as they did before. You don’t need to teach me about God, just commiserate with me.
His friend’s message comes to life in vs.17 where we read that happy are those whom God reproves. I guess there is a part of all of us that any attention is good attention. The same can be said of politicians, any news is good news. But that shouldn’t really be the case for us. His friend is saying that when God punishes us it is a sign that he remembers us and cares for us. I guess you could see it that way if you think that God directly punishes you. I do not see it that way. In the verses 17-20 we find a God who creates situations in which you will struggle for the sole purpose of giving himself the chance to liberate and free you. We almost find a God who wants to put us in difficulty so that we can then turn to Him for relief.
The point is that we do a good enough job to put ourselves in difficulty without the aid of God to join in. Yes, God is in control of all things, but no, he does not punish us to prove that He is in control of all things.