Who was your best friend growing up?
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Often enough, my experience has been that good friends are hard to come by. Some will be for a season of some length and others – might even be on again off again.
Friends come to each other when they face adversity. *How friend came to me in time of desparation - where he had screwed up and was looking for a lifeline, but then how he began to withdraw again after being open a vulnerable a couple times*
Job – faced some incredibly difficult times and his friends came to him and listened to him. They sat with him and let him do an incredible amount of talking and just felt his pain. Sometimes just being there is a comfort.
God had already been working in Job’s heart – talking to him – letting him know that Job’s pride was getting in his way.
Job 2:11-13 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
But there is more to being a good friend.
Bildad said, ““How long will you speak these things, And the words of your mouth be like a strong wind? Does God subvert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice? If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression. If you would earnestly seek God And make your supplication to the Almighty, If you were pure and upright, Surely now He would awake for you, And prosper your rightful dwelling place.
Ultimately Bildad urges Job to repent. Job 8:2-6
Job’s response: “How then can I answer Him,
And choose my words to reason with Him? For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him; I would beg mercy of my Judge. If I called and He answered me, I would not believe that He was listening to my voice. For He crushes me with a tempest, And multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills me with bitterness. Job 9:14-18 -
Zophar then urges Job to repent
Job responds saying that his friends are mocking him and saying that he isn’t inferior to his friends. Saying, “Indeed, who does not know such things as these?” –
Imagine the sarcasm being spread on pretty thick with that. Then he continues on to tell his friends, “
“Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3 But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God. But you forgers of lies, You are all worthless physicians. Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom! Now hear my reasoning, And heed the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God, And talk deceitfully for Him? Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God? Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man? He will surely rebuke you If you secretly show partiality. Will not His excellence make you afraid, And the dread of Him fall upon you? Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay. “Hold your peace with me, and let me speak, Then let come on me what may! Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, And put my life in my hands? Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him. Listen carefully to my speech, And to my declaration with your ears. See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated. Who is he who will contend with me? If now I hold my tongue, I perish. - Job 13:1-19
Job 13:20-28 - “Only two things do not do to me, Then I will not hide myself from You: 21 Withdraw Your hand far from me, And let not the dread of You make me afraid. 22 Then call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, then You respond to me. 23 How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why do You hide Your face, And regard me as Your enemy? 25 Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro? And will You pursue dry stubble? 26 For You write bitter things against me, And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. 27 You put my feet in the stocks, And watch closely all my paths. You set a limit[a] for the soles of my feet. 28 “Man[b] decays like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Eliphaz then accuses Job of being ridiculous:
Once Eliphaz finishes, then Job responds again, but to them all:
Job 16:2-8 “I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all! 3 Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? 4 I also could speak as you do, If your soul were in my soul’s place. I could heap up words against you, And shake my head at you; 5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief. 6 “Though I speak, my grief is not relieved; And if I remain silent, how am I eased? 7 But now He has worn me out; You have made desolate all my company. 8 You have shriveled me up, And it is a witness against me; My leanness rises up against me And bears witness to my face.
Elihu then contradicts Job’s friends and then Job.
Job 32 - So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. 3 Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
4 Now because they were years older than he, Elihu had waited to speak to Job.[a] 5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused.
6 So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: “I am young in years, and you are very old; Therefore I was afraid, And dared not declare my opinion to you. 7 I said, ‘Age[b] should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’ 8 But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. 9 Great men[c] are not always wise, Nor do the aged always understand justice. 10 “Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me, I also will declare my opinion.’ 11 Indeed I waited for your words, I listened to your reasonings, while you searched out what to say. 12 I paid close attention to you; And surely not one of you convinced Job, Or answered his words— 13 Lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom’; God will vanquish him, not man. 14 Now he has not directed his words against me; So I will not answer him with your words. 15 “They are dismayed and answer no more; Words escape them. 16 And I have waited, because they did not speak, Because they stood still and answered no more. 17 I also will answer my part, I too will declare my opinion. 18 For I am full of words; The spirit within me compels me. 19 Indeed my belly is like wine that has no vent; It is ready to burst like new wineskins. 20 I will speak, that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer. 21 Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone; Nor let me flatter any man. 22 For I do not know how to flatter, Else my Maker would soon take me away.
Then Elihu contradicts Job:
Job 33: 1 – 6 - “But please, Job, hear my speech, And listen to all my words. 2 Now, I open my mouth; My tongue speaks in my mouth. 3 My words come from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge. 4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 5 If you can answer me, Set your words in order before me; Take your stand. Truly I am as your spokesman[a] before God; I also have been formed out of clay.
Elihu then goes on to proclaim God’s Justice and proclaims God’s Goodness
You be the judge – were Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar really friends to Job??? Or did Elihu act more as a friend??
God Then reveals His Omnipotence to Job
38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge? 3 Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, Job prays again to God and then God speaks.
Job’s Response to God Job 40:3-14
3 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 4 “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. 5 Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.” God’s Challenge to Job 6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: 7 “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: 8 “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? 9 Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? 10 Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. 11 Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. 12 Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. 13 Hide them in the dust together, Bind their faces in hidden darkness. 14 Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you.
Job then repents and is restored:
42 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ 5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. 6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” 7 And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. 8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
Proverbs 18:24 – A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. John 15:12-15