Did They Help?

Re:Verse passage – Job 2:11-13, 22:5-6, 9-11 (day five) “Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”

At first glance, Job’s three friends come bringing comfort and kindness. Their motive was sincere- to help their friend. They sat with him- on the ground- and in silence. A closer look at the text might be very telling as to their ultimate effectiveness.  I think their initial presence and silence were both helpful and appropriate. But to sit in silence for seven days seems a bit “eerie” to me. And the text says they didn’t speak a word to him. Perhaps they spoke to each other- further isolating Job and causing even more pain. The friends came with kind intentions, able to sympathize to a point but perhaps were unable to bring real comfort to Job. Pain and suffering tend to bring about loneliness.

I have good news. The cross and resurrection of Jesus means that no believer should ever have to suffer to the same depth of loneliness Job did, because Jesus endured far more suffering and was far more alone- suffering into death – deserted by friends and ultimately His Father. We have a savior who knows and has experienced that kind of suffering. And Jesus sends us His Holy Spirit to be with us and in us always (we are never alone).  Not only that but the Holy Spirit speaks to us (not sitting beside in silence)- reminding us of God’s faithfulness, power, and promises- bringing comfort not isolation. See John 14:16, 26. We don’t have to suffer alone.  Isn’t that good news?!

Author: Scott Lane

Scott Lane is the Executive Pastor of Ministry at FBCSA.

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