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Befriending Job

“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how great his suffering was.”

          —  Job 2:13


Job is an interesting character to study in the Bible. Here is a man who stood blameless before the Lord. He remained steadfast to God through all sorts of trials and tribulations, never once wavering in his conviction over the holiness of God. He loses all of his possessions, his ten children and eventually, his health and still he never curses God. It is at this moment, when he is in his lowest of lows that we find Job surrounded by his friends. For seven days and seven nights, three men sit with him and say nothing.

By the end of the book, the three friends are eventually called out by God. He is angry because they do not try to understand God; they simply blame Job’s curses on some sin he must have committed.  This scene is what Job’s three friends are most famous for.

But one of the most powerful characteristics I see of Job’s friends is their ability to support him. They did not need to seek out their friend. He was covered in sores, from his head to his toes, and lay in the ashes. It would have been so easy for them to say they were busy or they did not feel comfortable around him. Instead, they left their own responsibilities and sat vigil with their friend.

At the end, they may have said the wrong things. They may not have understood God’s way and they may have given Job the wrong advice; but, I know there have been times in my life when I have simply needed someone to sit with me. No words necessary, just companionship.

Sometimes there is a call for words and other times, a call for support. Discern what your friends need from you so you can offer it to them.

 

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