How to Know When the Majority is Wrong

Three men tried to convince Job he was suffering because he had sinned and that he should repent; however, Job refused to agree with them because he believed he was innocent, which means he trusted his self-assessment more than he trusted the assessment of the majority. How do we know when to go against the majority if multiple people tell us we are wrong about something, and yet deep down we believe we are right? In this video we are going to learn that listening to the Word of God is far more important and reliable than listening to the majority or ourselves.

Background

At the beginning of Job’s story, he was “blameless and upright”.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

Then there was a dialogue in heaven between Yahweh and Satan. Yahweh bragged about Job. Satan replied that Job only followed Yahweh because he was wealthy and that if Job lost his wealth he would curse Yahweh. Yahweh allowed Satan to destroy all of Job’s possessions, kill his children, and afflict Job with boils from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet; however, Job did not curse Yahweh. Job stayed loyal to Yahweh.

The Friends

Three friends named Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar went to comfort Job during his affliction. These four men had a long dialogue. The three friends insisted Job was suffering because he had sinned. They believed God was fair; therefore, Job would not be suffering unless he had done something to deserve his suffering. Job insisted he was innocent. Job believed God had unfairly turned against him for some unknown reason. In the middle of this dialogue, Job pleaded with God for deliverance from his misery.

Job 10:7 ‘According to Your[God] knowledge I[Job] am indeed not guilty,

Yet there is no deliverance from Your hand.

Notice Job told God he was innocent. Later, Job told his friends God had wronged him.

Job 19:6 Know then that God has wronged me[Job]

And has closed His net around me.

We know that Job’s suffering was not caused by sin, but Job was not necessarily innocent when he accused God of wronging him. After a long dialogue, Job’s friends were not able to convince Job he was suffering because of sin, nor was Job able to convince his friends of his innocence. Job did not listen to the majority. That brings us to Job 32.

End of the Dialogue

Job 32:1 Then these three men[Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar] ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Ceased: Job 3-31 was a dialogue between Job and his three friends: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. The three friends tried to convince Job he was suffering because he had sinned, but they could not persuade him so they ceased trying.

Righteous in his own eyes: there are a multitude of things to think about with this.

When Job looked at himself, he concluded he was upright and that he was not suffering because of sin. Job trusted his own self-assessment more than he trusted the assessment of the majority.

Job 1-2 tell us Job was suffering because he was a casualty of a battle between Yahweh and Satan, so Job’s friends were wrong and Job was right.

As the dialogue progressed, Job blamed God for his calamity and accused God of being unfair.

Job’s friends thought Job was wrong for trusting his self-assessment more than he trusted the assessment of them, the majority.

Anger

Job 32:2 But the anger of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram burned; against Job his anger burned because he justified himself before God.

But: Job’s three friends gave up, but Elihu was not ready to give up.

Anger burned: Elihu was very angry.

Justified himself before God: the word justified is from the same Hebrew root from which we get the word righteous.

Job 32:3 And his[Elihu’s] anger burned against his[Job’s] three friends[Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar] because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Job 32:4 Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they[Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar] were years older than he.

Job 32:5 And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of the three men[Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar] his anger burned.

Ignoring the Majority

Job 32:1 Then these three men[Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar] ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Hebrews 4

Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The word of God is living. The letters George Washington wrote to his wife are dead because the sender and receiver of those letters are both dead. A letter I write to my wife today is alive because both the sender and receiver are alive. The word of God is living because God is the sender and He is alive and we are the receivers and we are alive; thus, the word of God is a live communication from the living God to us.

The word of God is active. Letters may produce action or to cause change. The word of God is living; thus, it may and does cause change in us and produce action by us.

The word of God is sharp. It is difficult to dissect an animal with a dull butterknife, but it is much easier with a sharp surgeon’s scalpel. The word of God is like a sharp scalpel. It can make very sharp distinctions between right and wrong.

The word of God is piercing. It is difficult to pierce a dead animal with a dull butterknife, but a sharp scalpel can pierce deep inside a carcass. Likewise, the word of God is sharp and piercing; thus, it can penetrate deep inside of ourselves.

The word of God is able to judge. Since the word of God is sharp and can pierce deep inside us, it is able to judge our thoughts and intentions.

How to Know When to Ignore the Majority

If multiple people tell us we are wrong about something and yet deep down we believe we are right, we need to listen first and foremost to the word of God, because it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of our heart.

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

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