Job and His Friends

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JOB AND HIS FRIENDS

Text: Job 2:11-31:40

Focus: Job 2:11-3:3; 16:1-5

As we go through the Book of Job let’s keep the main thing the “Main Thing”. IT IS JEHOVAH GOD THAT SITS ON THE THRONE! The God of the Bible.

Keep in mind “Real friends comfort with God’s comfort”!

2Co 1:3  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
2Co 1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, [that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God].

Job said of these three:

Job 16:1  Then Job answered and said,
Job 16:2  I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.

We must not forget why Job is in this position:

Job 1:12  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:6  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

We know this is on two separate occasions because of what God said:

Job 2:3  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? [and still he holdeth fast his integrity], although thou movedst me against him, [to destroy him without cause].

Even God said there was no reason on this Earth to destroy Job. If God says it then it must be true!

I know I am a long way from understanding many things in the Bible but there is one thing I’m sure of. God gave all humans the freedom of choice. I believe He also gave all the angels this same freedom of choice. In creation there is a theory that Satan destroyed God’s first creation and God rebuilt it. In the time of Noah there are those that teach that it was the evil angels of Satan that took wives of humans and created the giants and all evil before the flood. I believe that in order for either of these things to happen God would have lost control of Satan and his angel followers for a period of time.

I JUST ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT MY ALMIGHTY LIVING GOD IS NOT IN TOTAL CONTROL OF ALL HIS CREATION AT ALL TIMES, AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE. TO BE ANYTHING LESS WOULD CAUSE ME TO DOUBT HIS SAVING POWER. IT WOULD ALSO ALLOW SATAN TO HAVE POWERS THAT HE DOES NOT HAVE.

What we know about Job:

Job 1:1  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

What we know about Satan:

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Luk 13:16  And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, [whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond] on the sabbath day?

(prince and not King)

1.) We have God’s greatest witness at this time on the Earth. (“this man was perfect”)
2.) We have the roaring lion Satan who has been given freedom under the watchful eye of the Almighty God who is the one in control of this world and all creation. (“because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”)
3.) We have Job’s trial. (1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:)
4.) We have Job’s so called friends.

a.) The friends of Job are not saved. They do not know God, though they may know about Him from the witness of Job:

Job 42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, [My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends]: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
Job 42:8  Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: [for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly], in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

These are more the friends of Eliphaz than friends of Job. We can also see God would allow a sacrifice of their sin. Job was priest to his own family but God would allow Job to sacrifice for these that could not.

Note this as we learn to be witnesses for Jesus. These could not pray for themselves.

Psa 66:18  If I regard iniquity(sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

But Job as a righteous man could pray for them:

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. [The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much].

b.) Elihu is not mentioned at all by God: (Unless you can count this verse):

Job 38:2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

God will not call out the name of anyone that does not know Him as Savior!

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, [I never knew you]: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

For what is knowledge?

Pro 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

c.) God said:

Luk 21:16  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

“Real” friends can see the needs of their friends:

1Jn 3:17  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
1Jn 3:18  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

It seems that before Job was afflicted by Satan these were probably some that Job could have considered his friends. Most of the time things change once the riches are gone.

Pro 27:6  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Pro 27:14  He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

but:

Pro 19:6  Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.

*****Our text:

Job 2:11  Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
Job 2:12  And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
Job 2:13  So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

We know of the existence of the postman these days:

Job 9:25  Now my days are [swifter than a post]: they flee away, they see no good.

We can assume that news would travel pretty fast up and down the caravan routes of this time. Especially of someone as rich as Job. What we must notice is that these friends got together with themselves to make sure they all came at the same time. Though this in itself is not bad if you are going to do good. It can be devastating to gang up on a soul as miserable as they new Job would be. Were they friends with good intentions? This answer could still be true but those that do not know God are at the will of Satan at all times. We can let the evidence of their actions speak for them. James wrote:

Jas 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

But God also writes:

2Ti 2:24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, [who are taken captive by him at his will].

I believe these men were captives of Satan:

(Afar off)

These three men Eliphaz which means (God of Gold), Bildad which from the word Shuah means “dell” or “the pit” or “a hollow place” and Zophar which means “forsaking” . This is a word description of these men by their names. You know the name Job means “to be hated or to be persecuted”. We know it is not God that hates Job. It is Satan that hates Job because he is perfect in the eyes of God and as we know Satan was cast out of Heaven because of his sin.

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Isa 14:13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Isa 14:15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

We can see these so called friends of Job are actually servants of Satan. They may not even realize it at first but we will see they do more damage than good for Job.

The word “afar” can mean from a distance but it can also be used as “estranged in affection or alienated”.

The Hebrew word for “Afar”, “min/minny/minney” when used in the Old Testament is never used for “distance”.
The Hebrew word for “off”,  is used for a greater distance than being able to see clearly with the eye, or also in phrases such as “long ago.”

These men had been told by the news they had gotten exactly what had happened to Job. Where he was located for he had left his home and what he looked like. Before they could see for themselves with their own eyes, they immediately went into a show of mourning. Not for Job because he was to far away but probably for anyone else that was around. Many look upon it only as a compliment to visit their friends in sorrow; we must look for life! And if the example of Job’s friends is not enough to lead us to pity the afflicted, let us seek the mind that was in Christ.

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

They restrained themselves once they arrived at the side of Job and watched the grief of Job as he suffered. This is not always a bad thing to do. Being there, also has it’s own merits.

Mourning is as much a custom in the Orient for the observer as the partaker.  One marked feature of Oriental mourning is what may be called “its studies publicity”, and “the careful observance of the prescribed ceremonies”.

But Job was in dire grief because of his children.

Job 3:25  For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Job just like any other parent had not wanted to outlive his children.

*****Our text:

Job 3:1  After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
Job 3:2  And Job spake, and said,
Job 3:3  Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.

(cursed his day)

We can see that the family of Job made great celebrations of their birthdays:

Job 1:4  And his sons went and feasted in their houses, [every one his day]; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

We can be sure that this came from their earthly father Job. They enjoyed life. They celebrated life to the fullest extent. We now have Job cursing the day he was born. Job wished his day of birth was not even included in the calendar. Job had, had a wonderful and fulfilling life up until the death of his children. Job was in misery. Job had forgotten the truth of God’s word:

2Co 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

None of us can absorb unlimited amounts of misery! Job had reached the bottom of all his reserves of joy. He thought his friends had come to mourn with him but they had come in scorn and accusation.

Eliphaz had told him:

1.) Do not claim to be just:

Job 4:7  Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?
Job 4:8  Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
Job 5:12  He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

2.) Be quiet and admit your guilt:

Job 15:5  For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.
Job 15:6  Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.
Job 15:13  That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?
Job 15:2  Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?
Job 15:3  Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?

3.) You wicked sinner, return to God and be restored:

Job 22:2  Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
Job 22:3  Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?
Job 22:4  Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?
Job 22:5  Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?
Job 22:23  If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.

Bildad had said:

1.) A just God does not punish the innocent:

Job 8:3  Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
Job 8:4  If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;

2.) Wise up and and admit you are wicked:

Job 18:21  Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.

3.) No person can be righteous before God:

Job 25:4  How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Job 25:5  Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
Job 25:6  How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Zophar had said:

1.) Feeble, ignorant humans must confess sin:

Job 11:2  Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified?
Job 11:3  Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?
Job 11:4  For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.
Job 11:5  But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;
Job 11:6  And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.

Job 11:10  If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?
Job 11:11  For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider it?

Job 11:20  But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.

2.) Your short lived prosperity shows you are wicked:

Job 20:4  Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
Job 20:5  That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
Job 20:6  Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
Job 20:7  Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?

Job 20:12  Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;
Job 20:13  Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:
Job 20:14  Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
Job 20:15  He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.

Job 20:23  When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.

Job answered them:

1.) I once had respect from by friends:

Job 29:7  When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!
Job 29:8  The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.
Job 29:9  The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.
Job 29:10  The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
Job 29:11  When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:

2.) Now I see cruelty:

Job 30:1  But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.

Job 30:9  And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.
Job 30:10  They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.

Even from God:

Job 30:19  He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
Job 30:20  I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.

3.) In my innocence, I cry out to God:

a.) I have not looked with lust at maidens:

Job 31:1  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

b.) I have not lied nor been deceitful:

Job 31:5  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;
Job 31:6  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

c.) I have not committed adultery:

Job 31:9  If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door;
Job 31:10  Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.
Job 31:11  For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.

d.) I have treated my servants  fairly:

Job 31:13  If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;
Job 31:14  What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?
Job 31:15  Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

e.) I have been generous and kind to the poor:

Job 31:16  If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;
Job 31:17  Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;
Job 31:19  If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;

f.) I have not worshiped false gods:

Job 31:24  If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;
Job 31:25  If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
Job 31:26  If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;
Job 31:27  And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
Job 31:28  This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

g.) I have not rejoiced in the ruin of others:

Job 31:29  If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:
Job 31:30  Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.

h.) I have not refused hospitality to anyone:

Job 31:31  If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.
Job 31:32  The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.

i.) I have nothing to hide from God:

Job 31:33  If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
Job 31:34  Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

j.) I have not kept back payment to those that labored for me:

Job 31:38  If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;
Job 31:39  If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:
Job 31:40  Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

If the laws of Moses had been written at this time we could see that Job was truly a righteous man. So what did he lack if anything?

*****Our text:

Job 16:1  Then Job answered and said,
Job 16:2  I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
Job 16:3  Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?
Job 16:4  I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.
Job 16:5  But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.

The word “asswage” means: Job says, “I would lessen your pain or grief, I would reduce you to perfect peace, I would say the things that would soften the blow of this tragedy.

Job’s friends had not come close to helping Job in his time of need.

Job had outlived his children! These friends of his never clearly got this in their heads but concentrated more on Job’s monetary losses. They debated Job rather than comfort him. Sadly, Job was drawn into debate with them.

The Bible says:

Pro 26:4  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

And again:

1Co 3:19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

You these three friends were not trying to comfort Job, they were trying to win an argument with him. They wanted Job to admit to being as sinful as they were. Job was not unwilling to confess sin but he was unwilling to confess something he had not done. You know the world is like this. They love to hear when one of God’s children is in a bad way or has made a serious mistake.

When we confess our sin “we should know what sin we committed” and confess that sin. If Job had committed some heinous sin he would have known about it and confessed to God for it. We all have sin in our lives but as Christians the Holy Ghost will make us aware of them and we should repent immediately. If these friends of Job had known and believed in him as a friend they would never have condemned him of being so sinful in the eyes of God.

To comfort someone in their hour of need is not to condemn them but to love them. They do not need our wisdom, unless they ask. They need a shoulder, a hug, and a prayer and someone with a good ear and closed lips.

None of these men could see past the present tragedy of Job. None would tell Job that God would make things better and that He was with Job throughout all he suffered. Job knew these things himself and these are the things that keep us going:

Job 19:26  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Job 19:27  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

How do we go about helping others in their time of need?

The Bible says:

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Gal 6:4  But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5  For every man shall bear his own burden.
Gal 6:6  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

Some other helps from the word of God:

Rom 15:1  We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Rom 15:2  Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

1Co 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Isa 35:3  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
Isa 35:4  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

1Co 4:21  What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Jas 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Heb 13:3  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Jas 3:2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

We must also learn from these words given to Paul by the Holy Spirit:

Php 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: [for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content].

Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Heb 13:6  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

God is faithful:

1Co 1:9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

We can over come the things of the world:

1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: {because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world}.

When we are weak is when we are the strongest if you only believe:

2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Let’s pray!

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