Let’s notice the good in Job’s three friends – Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. We tend to choose friends who are our intellectual, social and spiritual equals (Most of us don’t coach the president of Johns Hopkins University. Does the President call you? He does not call me). We save our thoughts for those who will be open to them. The fact that Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar went to Job implies equality with him. They felt they could comfort, assist and instruct him, or they wouldn’t have wasted their time.
Consider their friendship gifts to Job:
Time The text says, . . . they heard about all his troubles . . . they set out from their homes and met together by agreement. The following sequence shows their gift of time. Before they saw each other, Job’s disaster occupied their thoughts. By God’s providence and because they sought out one another as Job’s friends, the three men met. While together, they decided to go to their friend, likely as soon as they could hand off responsibilities and make arrangements. Their families would have to do without them and business was set aside. Having made arrangements, true to their word, they set off at the appointed time. Good for them.
Did they travel three miles? 30 miles? 300 miles? We do not know. When they did see Job, the three were sufficiently stunned that they remained silent for seven days. They stayed with Job throughout his experience, which lasted at least a few weeks (7:3 speaks of months).
Money & Energy These men had sufficient wealth to take several weeks off work. They trusted their businesses to others or left them unattended. Either way causes a strain. We imagine them returning to desks piled high, messages screaming for attention, deadlines unmet and frustrated people – the same load that greets you after vacation.
Experience If these men were in the prime of their lives, they brought 150 years of experience to Job’s situation. Some years ago, my parents caravanned from California to Alaska. Five of the men were mechanics . . . 200 years of mechanical experience was on the trip. If anything went wrong, these white-haired wizards would know what to do.
Sometimes we fail to go to hurting friends because we don’t know how to solve their problem. Our hurting friend does not expect us to be God. Just being there makes your statement: “I care, I’m here for you. I will listen and pray,” which is probably all your friend wants.
A Few Good Men, based on Job 2:11-13, is day 6 in Eight Days with Job
Other Posts in This Series:
Job: Spiritual Sushi (Eight Days with Job, #1)
Balance (Eight Days with Job, #2)
The Bet (Eight Days with Job, #3)
Lessons from Job 1 (Eight Days with Job, #4)
Round Two (Eight Days with Job, #5)
Eliphaz and His Demonic Dream Revelation (Eight Days with Job, #7)
Satanic Terrorism (Eight Days with Job, #8)
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