- Job 8:1-22
- Job 9:1-10:22
- Job 11:1-20
Job’s friends get a bad rap. In all the teaching I have received on Job’s friends over the years, so many times, the friends are communicated as harsh and judgmental. Though this may be true, a fresh reading highlights something else to me: Job’s friends didn’t know anything more than Job did about the situation. Not a single person knew what was going on or why. And though their words may seem judgmental to those of us seeing the whole story, those friends still did speak of the faithfulness of God. They gave Job wisdom of how God had tended to act in the past.
Though they may have missed the mark, the friends did their best. And in similar situations, we are sometimes Job and sometimes the friend. And unless given special word from the Spirit, we really cannot comprehend all that the Lord may be doing in a person’s life. Remember: they had no idea about the heavenly conversation with Satan. They also had no idea of the ten-fold remuneration God had planned for Job. They knew what Job knew: not much.
So though the lesson to be careful in the words that we say to those in struggle is apt, we also need to remember that we don’t know the whole picture. And drawing conclusions about God’s specific action in a specific situation can serve to only highlight how much lower our thoughts are than His.