Anyone who has been following these weekly articles knows we have been camping out in the Book of Job. There have been many great lessons in the first few passages, some of which we have presented.
The remainder of the book contains several conversations between Job & his three friends, and Elihu a young acquaintance of the friends and Job. Also included toward the end is God’s discourse, and should not be missed.
With this in mind we need to notice the friends of Job. Many have focused on the wrongs in there dialogue and have commented to great extant and they are available for all to read.
Not many have noted the right things they did and so let us concern ourselves with the following Right Stuff of Job’s three friends.
When Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar heard of Job’s misfortunes the set a time they all could come to offer comfort to their friend. First, right thing they were Present to help. Having been the greatest man in the East the news would have been far and wide yet only three would come to help. This is how it is so often when sad news is published even today. Many are, too busy, tied up, can’t get away, think won’t be missed etc. etc.
Second, they had a noble purpose, to show comfort for their friend. To encourage another is exampled by God for us to carry out toward our fellow man, 2 Cor 1:3-4.
Third, and this is perhaps the most encouraging thing they did for 7 days. They all stayed silent and did not speak. Often the hospital room or place of the illness, is filled with words upon words. It is as if we are there and have to say something. If only we could think outside of ourselves and realize often our presences alone is the most comforting thing we can offer.
Conversation often at best is tiring, answering all the same question from each one. At worst as in the case of Job it is more blame than help. “I told you, you would get sick if you continued to…”
Let us realize to encourage is to build up not teardown or wear out.