(Part 4 of 5)
THE FOUR THINGS THAT DID IT (Cont.)
Job’s Three Friends
The next thing that caused Job to break was his three friends. JOB’S THREE FRIENDS LET HIM DOWN. I’m going to spend a little time on this. I want to show you how a church visiting committee can make the sick one sicker, and how it broke a man’s spirit. When Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come on him, they came everyone from his own place. There was Eliphaz, there was Bildad, and there was Zophar, and further on in chapter 32 there was Elihu. They made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. “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 towards heaven. 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” (Job 2:12-13, KJV). No wonder Job quit.
First of all, they made an appointment to come. However, there is an appointment to visit the sick that is God-made, Holy Spirit-made. In these days of the movement of the Holy Spirit, we are finding the Spirit of God will come upon men and women and lay on their hearts to visit someone. They go and they minister and then quietly leave. God heals and He does a great work. Here we find they made an appointment for the three of them, the visiting committee. But in verse 12, they misjudged; they had no discernment.
Romans 12:8 talks about the man who visits the sick. “The sick visitor must be cheerful” (Moffatt). Now this is more than just a happy countenance. The man or woman who visits the sick must do it under the Spirit’s leading. They need to give the word of God that will raise them up. You say this is not Scriptural? Job 33:19-28 teaches that the bedside visitor must be God-sent and he must be able to give the sick one hope to rise again. Amen. These three men misjudged; there was no discernment.
Now hear me carefully. There’s a time and place to grieve with the grieving. It’s important to discern the best way to encourage a grieving friend, and sometimes we weep with those who weep. But Job was already hurt enough. He didn’t need their grief added to his grief. A word of compassion and encouragement would have saved his day, perhaps an exhortation, a word from God, and he might have stood up and fought again. He needed a pat on his back and not a slap in the face. They cried, they wept, and they just piled their sadness on top of his. In Job 2:13, they sat for seven days and seven nights and never said a word and “after this” (Job 3:1), Job broke. He wished he had never been born. And it’s no wonder Job quit. You can tear out the heart of a Christian by what you don’t say. You can break a Christian’s spirit by keeping quiet. When these three began to speak, they said the wrong thing. For seven days they said nothing and then when they began to speak, they said the wrong thing.
Wrong Type Of Edification
In Job 7:14-15, Job says to his three friends, “You scare me so much that I have nightmares; I would rather die than live. I don’t want to hear your words.” If they had edified, Job might have been comforted. In Job 16:2-3, Job calls them “miserable comforters.” Let’s hear the edification these three gave to Job…
Zophar said, “Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth” (Job 11:6, KJV). He was saying, “Job, you are getting off real easy. If I were God, you would really get it.” Now you know you can’t heal a man that way. This is tearing down. This is not edification.
Eliphaz said in Job 15:5, “For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty” (KJV). In other words, “Job, you are foul in your mouth; why, your tongue is declaring your sin. You are choosing the tongue of the crafty” (referring to the devil). “Job, you are full of the devil.” You can’t heal a Christian that way.
Bildad said in Job 18:5, “Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine” (KJV). In other words, he said, “Job, you were once the light of the east, but you are out. You are wicked, Job; that’s why that light is gone, and that little bit of spark that you have left, it’s not going to shine.” You can’t edify a man that way. It’s no wonder Job broke. If people with the means of edification would edify, you would not be torn down either.
To be continued…
Pastor George Belobaba
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