Thursday, January 15, 2009

Job - Inspiration for Michael W. Smith

Job 2:11-13 When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

Let's pretend for a moment that we don't know about the rest of the book of Job. That what we look at here is all we know. Three friends come to see Job and sit beside him and just weep and cry and don't say a word.

Thinking back, these actions are quite different than that of Job's wife. Now, we can understand, somewhat, the reasons for her bad actions. She, too, had just lo
st all her income, all of her children had been killed and looking at her husband - she figured she would be alone shortly and would rather be done with it. While her actions were wrong, I think we can all see how stressed she must have been at that moment.

These friends however, don't have any of that stress. What they have: Job, in agony. Yet they gave up their time - for a week at least - no working, no family, sleeping in the ashes with Job. Do you have a friend that would do that? Would you BE a friend that would do that? God calls us to minister to others - what better place to start than with our own friends.


In the middle of the story of Job - one of agony and misery and pain - who knew there was this sliver of touching friendship, if only momentary, for us to see. A passage that tells us a friend doesn't always need to talk to offer hope - sometimes - we just have to be there. Sitting in the ashes alongside one another. Who are you willing to sit in the ashes for?

3 wonderful insights:

Greg C said...

I think this is one area where I would just have to say, I would have to be there to decide. I know I have endured some painful things for friends of mine but I really don't know how far I would go. I would like to think that I have the faith and devotion to stay until the end but I really don't know. It is something to think about though.

Chatty Kelly said...

My problem is I usually open my mouth. That is where Job's friends get into trouble too. Oh for the wisdom to sit with my mouth shut...and keep it shut. Hmmm, Chatty Kelly with her mouth shut - how ironic!

Todd G said...

Thank you for this beautiful insight about having compassion for our friends. I want Christ-like compassion for people who are suffering. I think it should be our number one priority as Christians...to love and help and just be there for people. Thanks again.