Friend or Foe

Miserable Comforters

Book of Job Chapter 2 Verse 11 through Chapter 31

What is a comforter? A comforter is anyone who feels called to the side of another to try to strengthen them in their woes.

To console them. To encourage them.

We will see that these men who felt called to help Job were indeed miserable comforters.

Job had been abandoned by those called “the sons of God” like he was some leper and excommunicated.

Job 19:13 He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
Job 19:14 My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
Job 19:15 They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
Job 19:16 I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.
Job 19:17 My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children’s sake of mine own body.
Job 19:18 Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
Job 19:19 All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
Job 19:20 My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
Job 19:21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
Job 19:22 Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?

All these that Job had cared for had abandoned him and we will read of three who I believe to be business friends knowing nothing of the ways of God.

God even says they did not know Him!

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.

So let us meet these so-called friends.

*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.

As we get into these three friends, I believe they may be Job’s friends but business friends of the world and not believers.

Job’s friends who were believers, (the sons of God) had already abandoned him.

God said these three were certainly not any help to 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.

The world will never be able to solve our problems we must trust in the Lord, as did Job.

Eliphaz was from Teman. We do not know who wrote the Book of Job and the exact time frame so the area would have been later called Teman before the time of Eliphaz.

What we do know is that this area of Teman has never been known of being a place of godly people.

Bildad the Shuhite. Shuah was one of Abrahams son by his second wife Keturah and from Arabia a follower of false gods.

Zophar was an inhabitant Naamah. Another man most likely from Arabia. Probably the worst of the accusers for that is what they were, accusers.

They accused Job of sin and Zophar had the gaul, to tell Job all his children were terrible sinners.

We are all sinners, but this father and his children were godly people.

When they first joined Job it seemed they had good intentions, but their methods were not in any way godly.

Grief is said to be great displeasure with our present condition, sometimes called sorrow.

We know that we are going to suffer being a Christian.

We suffer with grief at the death of our loved ones.

We also know the answer to grief is still the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord may not have arrived on the scene in the time of Job, but he did have great faith in The Almighty God.

These three men had met Job face to face and they hardly recognized him as they approached.

*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.

If we do not understand anything else, we need to understand that the grief of this godly man was so great that these three men knew it was best to keep quiet and sit down with him.

In fact we will see it would have been better to have remained quiet and just took care of Job’s necessities.

Sometimes the best comfort we can give is just to be there when our friends need us the most, we do not have to say very much unless called upon to do so.

In fact when these three men began speaking things went downhill, because they became accusers and not friends.

The one thing these all had in common showed, when they sprinkled dust upon their heads.

All Job’s problems had not come from the Lord, but by the actions of Satan, which the Lord allowed.

We all understand as Christians that the Lord is never to be blamed because He is a righteous God.

Righteous meaning, God never does things that are unrighteous.

We know Job’s calamity came from Satan!

Satan’s goal is to destroy God’s people and all godly families!

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

What we also know is, Satan cannot touch the Christian without God allowing it and if God allows it then He has a purpose for it to our benefit.

So let us listen in on the conversation of these three men with Job, remembering they came to comfort Job.

At the same time we need to remember Satan was involved in the selection of these three men.

*Job 4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
Job 4:2 If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?

Job had conveyed his feelings to his friends and now it became time for a response.

Eliphaz was probably the oldest and was allowed to speak first and he begins seeming to brag on Job and his qualities as a human being.

Notice the first thing he says is how can you be so grieved?

The things Job had said in Chapter three seemed defiant to Eliphaz.

As if Job had no right to question the things of God.

In fact, we have every right to go before the Lord because by the Lord Jesus Christ the veil was rent opening the way into the throne room of God.

Certainly, we need to be humble when we get there, but God expects us to bring every “every” problem we have before Him!

After all Jehovah has all the answers, but we must come in faith!

Certainly, it was OK for Job to be grieved but Job was not in despair!

Job knew himself and he knew he was far from perfect, but he did offer sacrifice often for his sin and he was pure in the eyes of God as God has already stated.

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

Job had been a great comfort to many others throughout the years of his life.

*Job 4:3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.
Job 4:4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast confirmed the feeble knees.
Job 4:5 But now it is come unto thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

Everyone had known of Job’s wisdom in all matters.

We will see that these three men lacked all godly wisdom.

It is godly wisdom that can be a help to all people, but worldly wisdom, especially the wisdom of false gods is useless to the man of God!

As far as these three men were concerned, Job was just another terrible sinner who whined and cried if things did not go his way.

Keep in mind that Job had lost everything, but it was only the loss of his children that had brought him to this grief.

For Eliphaz he regarded that every man that suffered was only proof of his wickedness!

We know for certain that the same things happen to the godly and the ungodly and the Bible even says that this is true.

Those who are wicked are not always down and nor are all the godly happy in this life.

We must never judge anyone’s character by what we see on the outside!

Remember God looks into the heart where the true character of any man or woman can be seen accurately and clearly!

1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

When it comes to grieving, Job was no different than any other. His heart was broken over his children.

We can also be sure that suffering is not always connected to sin!

In fact, suffering can bring us closer to God if we know Him by our “faith”!

The things we think when we are suffering, are not always evil when we ask that question “why Lord”.

We must never forget God does what God does and He always has our best interest in mind!

Why God allowed these things to happen to Job we may not understand, but we must accept what we read in the Book of Job and know that Jehovah is a righteous God who does no wrong and is always concerned for us.

What we do know is that all Scripture is written for us to learn about our God!

2Ti_3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The Lord’s thoughts are always on us!

Psa 139:17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Psa 139:18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

These things were true for Job also!

We must understand that God does many things just to show us His Almighty Power.

Exo 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the LORD?

God always has His reasons, and His reasons are to teach us, the Church, more about Him!

*Job 4:6 Is not thy fear of God thy confidence, and thy hope the integrity of thy ways?
Job 4:7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the upright cut off?
Job 4:8 According as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow trouble, reap the same.

Certainly, Job was a God-fearing man and he had shown this all his years.

Job’s grieving now was not a sign of a fall from God!

As far as Eliphaz was concerned, Job had to be guilty of some grievous wicked and hidden sin that only God knew about, which is the same way the world thinks today.

Even in our insurance policies it states, “an act of God”, as if God brings destruction when again Jehovah is a righteous God!

He tells us when He will bring His wrath and yes God does chastise His own children, but the problems of the lost come by this wicked world.

Satan is the instigator of all this world’s problems, except for the ones we cause ourselves, which may be the biggest portion of our problems.

We must never forget that our choices bring consequences!

Job did have the fear of God which was a holy respect for His person!

It could be said that Eliphaz was partially right.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life.
Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And his ears unto their supplication: But the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil.
The truth is, not everything we reap in this life is the result of some evil we have sown!

Theology cannot be replaced with a lost man’s logic!

To say that wherever there is suffering, it is the result of sowing sin is just wrong!

Most suffering in this world comes by this world, its governments and its politicians!

We must understand that God does many things just to show us His Almighty Power.

Joh 9:1 And as he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth.
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind?
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Job answers for himself.

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

These so-called friends of Job had only added to his misery!

They were in fact troublesome or we could say comforters of trouble!

As soon as I read this, this the first thought that went through my head was the actions of our news sources today.

They too provide nothing but more worries and more trouble!

What had this man asked Job?

Job 15:11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

All the conversations with these three men were based upon their own assumptions and not based on the truth of God.

They had all agreed that Job had some hidden sin that had caused God to cause these things that happened to Job.

This whole Book of Job is given to us not only to show the actions of Satan, but also to teach us how not to be miserable comforters.

When our brothers and sisters in Christ need someone close to them to aid in comfort, they certainly do not need more misery.

All true Christians know their ending and know their Savior in a personal way!

The Holy Spirit is our greatest comfort through all things good and bad!

If we cannot help each other then we must certainly not hurt each other!

Job did not need to repent to these men, he had never wronged them.

When we cause the torment to increase of those we are trying to help, we do them a greater wrong!

In fact Eliphaz could be seen as being the cause of the things said by those other men!

We know by proof in the Scriptures, that Satan perverts and abuses the Scriptures, and we see this is exactly what these three men did to Job.

They certainly did not know the Scriptures!
They certainly did not have a personal relationship with the Lord!
They installed their own views as to what they thought of Jehovah!

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

The words Eliphaz had used were useless and vain and he was of no help to Job!

Every lost person knows the many things they do wrong and it is their belief that everyone else is guilty of those same things.

This is the truth behind all hypocrites!

*Job 16:3 Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?

Job had sit through these words of Eliphaz the gentleman that he was, but enough is enough.

In modern terms Eliphaz had indeed slandered Job!

Job 15:1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
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?

The integrity of Job was known throughout the land, yet we see here that Eliphaz had no respect for Job, and certainly had not considered the tragedy of Job’s children.

Job simply asked what provoked you to such words and we should have little doubt that it was again Satan who was behind the talk of these so-called friends.

Jehovah had given him permission, he could just not take Job’s life, even though if Job happened to take his own life, Satan could then say that Job was just another weak human.

Job 2:4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
Job 2:5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

Satan had gone after Job physically, but we know for certain that Satan accomplishes his greatest work in our minds which then causes our actions!

Job had already asked that these men would just shut up. Their silence would have been far better than their speaking!

Job 13:3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
Job 13:4 But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.
Job 13:5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
Job 13:6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.
Job 13:7 Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?

As we know they would continue until God Himself put an end to it.

Job said, if you were in my shoes “I would treat you with respect”.

*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 worst thing we could ever do, to our friends while they are grieving, is to make heartless speeches.

What is God’s command in such matters?

Rom 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Rom 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Job was saying “I could run you down as you have done me, but I would never do such a thing”.

Job brings up the “soul” here.

It is the soul that is the most valuable part of us in the eyes of God!

The “soul” is that breath of life given to us by the Lord.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

It is this “breath of life” that causes us to seek out our Heavenly Father!

The “shaking of the head” was a sign of contempt and this was the feeling Job felt his friends had for him.

As the Jews had done to the Messiah.

Psa 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
Psa 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
Psa 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

In this instance, Job is a type of Christ.

What are we called upon to do to help our friends in such times as these?

Job said it very gracefully; “But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.”

Pro 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

Then Job says, “no matter what I do my grief remains over my children”.

*Job 16:6 Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?

We should understand that as God’s children, when we pray, He hears every prayer we pray in Jesus name.

Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Joh 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

Now would Job have said in Jesus’ name, probably not, but Job did know of the coming Messiah.

We know for certain that Job prayed and offered the proper sacrifice at that time.

Knowing these things, God still answers prayer in His own time!

We must not forget that Job had done nothing to cause these things to happen.

God had only allowed these things to happen to Job for our benefit!

The Bible is written to the Church.

There are great lessons we are to learn throughout the Bible and the Book of Job teaches us much about suffering in the name of God.

We also learn that Satan has no control over the child of God unless God allows it.

So many other lessons can be found in this great book of the Bible.

Job never knew why these things happened to him, but he never blamed God.

God had the answers for Job with answered prayer, but it was not yet time.

*Job 16:7 But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.

Here again we see Job as a type of Christ.

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

These friends of Job had done nothing to help him in his grief and people cannot do what God can do.

God will never abandon us.

Joh 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

If we cannot be that comforter to our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we need to keep quiet and just show them the love of Christ that is within us!

We must certainly understand that God will chasten us, but the most important thing about the chastening of God is the fact that He only chastens those He loves.

Pro 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Pro 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Now we know that Job had not done anything for God to chasten him, but Job was also not perfect.

Job did possess the sin nature of Adam as we all do.

In fact one of the best passages in the Bible is contained in a simple phrase.

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

One hundred and sixty-one times the Bible uses the phrase “it shall come to pass”.

There are many things that we will face in this life and most of them will come and then they will pass on by.

If we learn the lessons intended for us to learn we will benefit from those things!

If not, we may suffer through them again and again!


One thought on “Friend or Foe

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