Job's Unhelpful Friends

Job's Unhelpful Friends

Date July 26th 1998

Bible Passage:  Job 2:11; 4:1, 6-7; 8:1-6; 13:1-4

Key Verse:         Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who Mourn

Session Focus: To learn how to be God's comforters and not Job's.

Com·fort: 1 : to give strength and hope to : CHEER 2 : to ease the grief or trouble of : CONSOLE

Job 2:11 11When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.

Job 4:1, 6-7 1Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:6Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope? 7"Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?

Job 8:1-6  1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:2"How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind. 3Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right? 4When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. 5But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, 6if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place. 7Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. 8"Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned,

Job 13:1-4 1"My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it . 2What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God. 4You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you!


Why is it when anyone else is having problems we suddenly become an expert of their situation and feel we have the answer to all their problems when many times we don't even have the facts of their situation?

Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

I Tim 1:7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

Why is it that our Lord tells us to go to whomever has wronged us privately (or one on one) let alone someone who may just be having some personal struggles? Matt 18:15-16 15"If your brother sins against you, [2] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' [3

It seems like it isn't enough for us to expound our "wisdom" on someone who is less fortunate than we are all by ourselves, but that we like to do it with our friends so that we can expound our "knowledge" not only to the one who is hurting, but also to our friends as in Job's friends case. And yet God's way is to first communicate one on one and only within the context of Love. Remember Christ at the well with the woman who's life was a mess due to her sin? Did Jesus give her a big lecture of all that she had done wrong? No, she knew her life was a mess and knew it was because of the sin she had given herself to. Christ didn't come to hammer us over the head with our sins (didn't come into the world to condemn the world) but to present to us Himself being the Way of True Life! If anyone deserved a lecture from Job's so called comforters it was the many sinners that Christ met while He walked the earth and yet He only offered Himself and would say go and sin no more.

What is it about one on one that makes it an effective tool? Prov 18:17 The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.

One on one is personal. It does not cause the one who is being approached to feel defensive and promotes open discussion between both parties so that where there is a lack of understanding, it can be resolved, if there have been hurt feelings those too can be communicated and put to rest. Job's case of suffering was not due to sin, but for the purpose of bringing Glory and Honor to God. But his friends didn't know why all this was happening. It could have been due to some sin in Job's life. Even if it were, only one should have gone and gone to listen to hear Job's heart. If it appeared that there may have been sin in his life, only then and after much prayer and a spirit of realizing that they too were just as human and vulnerable as Job could they share within the context of love and humility. Gal 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. God doesn't look for our faults, He only looks for the blood of His Son.

Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; God is Gentle knowing how not to hurt someone who is already hurting.

Prov 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. Wise men are quick to hear where fools are quick to speak.

Prov 17:28 Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Proverbs 11:12 A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

Love out of a pure heart should be our ambition so that we may all grow up into Christ our Lord and  King!


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