‘The White of an Egg’

Ernest J. Parish, Dereham, formerly of Bolivia

The white of an egg has lived under the charge of being insipid and without taste; Job had made the discovery, and used it in one of his arguments. "Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?", he exclaimed, Job 6.6. It is strange how some people observe such things, and how they are remembered when brought to notice. It is stranger still to think that such matters should find their way onto a page of Scripture. Maybe Job did not know the culinary value of the white of an egg, but he certainly stated an indisputable fact, that in itself it is tasteless. The point at the moment is not why the white of an egg has no taste, but why did Job mention it in his argument?

Job is remembered as being the man of patience, allowed by God to be tested by Satan, and who happily came through the testing to the glory of his God. In his sorrow and sadness some of his friends came, supposedly to comfort or at least to console him. He listened with varying degrees of patience to their multiple admonitions and suggested explanations. They had many wise things to say, but they lacked the knowledge of God, so all their worldly wishes made no real impact on Job's mind and less effect on his heart. It would seem as if he tried to find in the recesses of his mind some way to convey to these men the futility of their human reasonings. All that had been said was without taste or relish, completely insipid, in fact just like the white of an egg.

Well might he say, "How forceful are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?", Job 6.25. Then, as if to voice his sentiments and give his verdict, and that almost at the beginning of their long and sometimes tedious discourses, he said, "Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend", v. 27. The world's best is helpless and useless in the soul's deepest needs, and even when the intentions are good the results are negligible.

In the final chapter, we glean something of God's thoughts on the matter. We see how God reprehended Eliphaz and his two friends, 42. 7, and told them, "for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath". Then Job was bidden to pray for his friends. Having been greatly blessed by his God, Job has proved for all posterity that blessing comes when the soul looks past human reasonings to the infinite wisdom of God. We, like Job, will find in the words and teachings of our gracious Lord solid food for our Christian life, and many a solution to the numerous vexing problems that confront us as we journey home. We certainly will never think for a moment of them as being insipid or unsavoury, like the white of an egg.