~Job 4:1-5 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, 2 If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking? 3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. 5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.
Ah, Job! The account of Job’s sufferings is one that every Christian has read with mixed emotions. Job loses all his children, his property and then he is stricken with boils. I can’t imagine losing my children! I’ve lost property before and one manages to move on. Boils hurt so badly that you can actually feel it pulsating with pain! It seems we can handle most things in life but once we are sick and in pain, it becomes harder to cope. Pain which plagues our bodies 24/7 must be all consuming, in my opinion. I have a friend who has fibromyalgia, along with other issues as a result of this disease. Not a minute goes by that she is not suffering 😦
Poor Job! It wasn’t enough for him to lose his family and his possessions – he was afflicted in his body as well. After losing his children and possessions, his wife told him to curse God and die! What an encourager she was! On a side note, what kind of wife are we to our husbands during difficult times? It’s obvious she could not draw from her faith during these hard times. But her husband sure did! In all this, he told her that God gives and God takes away. Through all his heart wrenching experiences, Job didn’t sin. He drew on his faith in his Creator. Once the boils came and he was covered in them, it seems he got caught in the moment. He curses the day he was born. Before we get all self-righteous, stop to think for a moment on a day that you were in extreme pain – maybe a horrible migraine. Can you imagine having that kind of pain all of over your body – constantly? You’d wish you were ever born as well! You would be complaining and questioning God as well.
I live in a logging area. When trees are cut down in a row, those trees behind them are not accustomed to being exposed to the wind. They had always been protected by those trees which were just cut. When the winds blow, you’ll find some of those newly exposed trees fallen over because their roots were not as strong as those which were cut. It’s the same with our trials. Sometimes the winds of trials need to blow to test our roots. Will we hold up or will we fall?
So now Job’s friends step into the picture. ***Sigh*** Eliphaz immediately passes judgment on Job. He points out to Job that he was the one who instructed and strengthened the weak in their moments of need. But now that Job was stricken, he fainted! Later Eliphaz tells Job that the righteous are not stricken – only the wicked. So Job must have sinned to have suffered as he had! What a friend Eliphaz was! Here Job had pretty much lost everything and was in excruciating pain and his friend was kicking him while he was down 😦
It seems the Eliphaz’s come out of the woodwork when we are sick! People are so quick to judge rather than to love and help. What kind of friend are we? How do we help others in their time of need? As mothers, we can teach our children the true meaning of friendship by our own actions. They mimic what they see and hear so they should see our love in action. Is a friend sick? Don’t make judgmental comments like Eliphaz did but strive to help by making a meal or speaking words of encouragement to them. This is what our children will see. This is what they will learn.
~Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
The testing of our own faith through trials make us stronger so we can help others. Can you imagine how Job would have been encouraged if Eliphaz had words of comfort and love instead of judgment?
~I Thessalonians 2:7-8 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
Paul sure did have that compassion, love and comfort that Job desperately needed from his friends. The compassion of a mother who cherishes her children was what Job could have used that day! What kind of friend are we? What are we teaching our children? Do we teach them to have an attitude of Eliphaz or to be compassionate and loving? I wonder how Job’s account would have gone had Eliphaz treated Job the way Paul speaks of in I Thessalonians?
Love with compassion – what a beautiful depiction of the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8 says it all!