My Take on Job…or with friends like these…

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Christian

The book of Job is a well known story of piety, strength, faith and endurance through adversity as well as the good times.

As we look at the three friends of Job and read of their attitude and advice throughout these plights of Job’s we see that they are models and types of us, as we interact and deal with our friends, family members and fellow christians.

Job’s three friends had heard of his sufferings and came together to be with him. So far it sounds like a gathering of good friends, but after Job starts a discourse where he goes on about wishing he had never been born and wishing he could die, not only because he is in so much pain and discomfort from not only serious stuff, but also because they were his worst nightmares of pain as we find out in chapter 3, verse 25 So it wasn’t just some random sicknesses that afflicted him, but apparently, the afflictions that he had feared most in his life were hitting him and hitting him hard.

Job 3:25  For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. (NKJV)

After hearing him through his pain and suffering, his buddies decided they would chime in and put in their two cents worth of advice (which is usually about what it’s worth).

The first friend, Eliphaz, looks upon what’s happening to Job and makes assumptions and judgments about why these terrible things are happening to him based on his observations of others that fell on hard times, apparently and therefore believes, using his logic, that Job must have really hit the homerun of sins to be punished this badly for it.

Job’s answer to Eliphaz gives some insights, it seems that Job understood nothing evil or bad could happen to him without the Lord’s approval. Even though he understood this and didn’t understand why the Lord was allowing this to happen to him, he still believed in His Lord and remained faithful.

Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. (NKJV)

The second friend on the scene, Bildad, also has to offer his reason why this is happening to Job and decides that God has turned his back on Job, therefore Job wasn’t actually upright and pure but was playing a shell game with the favors of the Lord and it finally caught up to him.

The third friend, Zophar not only ridicules Job but does everything but slap him in the face with his words:

Job 11:3-6Should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one rebuke you? For you have said, ‘My doctrine is pure, And I am clean in your eyes.’ But oh, that God would speak, And open His lips against you, That He would show you the secrets of wisdom! For they would double your prudence. Know therefore that God exacts from you Less than your iniquity deserves. (NKJV)

Finally Job has all; he can take and blasts them with his collective reply in chapter 12 and they duke it out with word for the next few chapters with an eloquent summary of what he thinks of their bedside manners in chapter 16.

Job 12:1-4 Then Job answered and said: “No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you! But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such things as these? “I am one mocked by his friends, Who called on God, and He answered him, The just and blameless who is ridiculed. (NKJV)

Job 16:1-2Then Job answered and said: “I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all! (NKJV)

So what do we have here? We see three friends of Job who were so busy making assumptions and passing judgments, probably simply to elevate their own self-worth and stature when faced with an infirmed Job, who was most likely an imposing and important person in the land of Uz, that they couldn’t see that they were most likely passing judgment upon Job for things, that conceivably, were simply reflections of their own actions and attitudes. All of us could take a lesson, not only from the faithfulness of Job, but also from the carelessness and seeming bitter resentment of his ‘so called’ friends toward one perhaps better off than they. Instead of being good listeners, his friends decided to assume the worst and therefore passed judgment on their sick, bewildered friend who never faltered, despite their best efforts to make him renounce his faith in the Lord.

God Bless, Jim

4-11-11 for Koinonia Institute

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