Job’s Compassionate Friends
Good morning. Our Joshua Generation text today is Job 2:11-13. It is an amazing story of compassion in action. I realize that the three friends of Job were incorrect about why Job was suffering, but their friendship and compassion cannot be doubted. Remember that Job has lost his possessions, his position of prestige and all of his children. His own wife suggested that he curse God and die. His grief was overwhelming. After you read the three verses of our text, consider the following lessons.
Ø Jobs three closest friends were children of God. Though they lived at a distance, Job had somehow made their acquaintance and the four of them had become good friends. May we cultivate such friendship in the Lord’s church.
Ø They came to mourn “with him.” Many times, with someone who is stricken with grief, our presence with them and grief for them is all that can be helpful at the time. Their grief was heart-felt over the condition of Job. This is a little of what Paul was teaching in 1 Cor. 12:26, “when one member suffers, all suffer with it.”
Ø The friends compassion moved them to expend considerable time, money and energy to be there with Job. The very idea of compassion is that we do our best to alleviate the difficulty. This can take time, money and energy on our part.
Ø They said nothing, but sat with him (apparently sleeping near him) seven days and seven nights. Brothers and sisters, I know that most of us are not in a work situation that allows us to do something like that. But it is a lesson that, sometimes, compassion requires time. Let us be willing to give it.
Ø As this event unfolds in the rest of the book, they do try to comfort Job. They were wrong in their judgment of the reason for Job’s difficulties, but it is apparent that their motivation is true. Most importantly, they give him a chance to talk out his feelings. Sometimes, just listening is very important.
Let’s learn from the compassion of these true friends of Job that “compassion makes a difference.”