Job 12:13- But true wisdom and power are found in God; council and understanding are his.
Job 13:5- If only you could be silent! That’s the wisest thing you can do.
For the past several days in my daily Bible reading I have been in the book of Job. Let me just say that I think it is one of the most interesting books in the Bible.
I love how God has included so many different perspectives, experiences, people, and paradigms in the scripture. It reminds me of the name of an old Clint Eastwood movie, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
When God inspired His holy word he didn’t leave anything out! It isn’t PC, filtered or sophisticated. The majority of it isn’t a “feel good, warm and fuzzy, lets snuggle up in front of the fireplace”, kind of read. Why do you think you feel so awkward reading parts of the Bible to your children. It’s raw, brutal, sad, confusing, conflicting (from our perspective), and shows the utter depravity of man and God utilizing and forgiving that depravity.
So, back to my man Job. He proclaimed and God agreed that he was a righteous man. Because of a little wager, between God and Satan, which escapes us as well, he became the target of Satan’s attempt to prove God’s confidence in Job was erroneous. Personally, I think the adversary was striving to prove to God that human beings, no matter how “good” we may appear aren’t worth the love of God. Duh, everyone knows that! God so loved…us, that He gave!
As usual though, there are so many lessons within lessons in God’s Book. He is the Master Storyteller and Job is no exception. The one I observed on this read regards real friendship.
There are some observations I would like to share about this.
It’s hard to be a good friend.
Job’s friends did the right thing when in Job 2:12-13 it states, “When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw his suffering was too great for words.”
Only God has the perfect handle on truth.
After Job’s lament about all the tragic circumstances that had befallen him, he proclaimed his innocence and the apparent injustice of it all. His friends responded. They voiced truth at many levels, but because their perspective was limited, it was an incomplete truth. Truth combined with a limited view and judgment of others equals falsehood.
True friendship is based in love.
That is what first Corinthians 13 is ALL about. Paul said that if we could speak all the languages of the earth and of angels but didn’t love others that we would only be an obnoxious noise. If we possessed all knowledge and God’s secret plans and had faith to move mountains, but didn’t love it would be nothing. We could be generous give everything to the poor, but if we didn’t love them we would have gained nothing. DO YOU GET THIS? We can do all the right things, MIRACULOUS THINGS, speak truth, but if our motive is not genuine concern and biblical love for the individual (not cultural, emotion based love) then it’s for nothing.
I can be a better friend.
So many times as I’ve pointed people to the truth in the word of God, wanting them to correct their lives and their perspective biblically, but my motive has been more about me, than loving them. I acknowledge, that none of us are altruistic, but so often I want my friends to be happy, so I can be happy. I don’t like being around sad, miserable, melancholy people. It makes me feel bad and I want to feel glad. Romans 12:15 – “Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep.” Friendship and true love require both. And as Job’s friends demonstrated in chapter 2, crying and sitting in silence sometimes is the best way to show your love.
Prayer– Jesus, help me be a true, loving and genuine friend. The kind You have been to me!
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