Sep 21, 2010

Commendable Actions of Job’s Friends

Much is often made of the failures of Job's friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) in the Book of Job. This criticism is valid. But I think it is also worth noting that these same friends acted commendably at the beginning (2:11-13).

They came (they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him)
They mourned (they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven)
They stayed (“they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights”)
They stayed quiet (“no one spoke a word to him”)
They were sensitive (“they saw that his grief was very great”)

I think that Job's friends can provide helpful ministerial principles, both good (as seen in 2:11-13) and bad (as seen primarily in chapters 4-26). Job's friends also remind us that ministry is often a process and therefore, there is always the danger of starting well and finishing poorly.

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