At one point, Job’s entire world came crashing down around him. He had lost everything: his flocks, herds, and most devastatingly of all, he had lost all of his children in the matter of one day. In today’s culture, Job losing his flocks and herds was the equivalent to someone losing their job, as well as their only source of income (their livelihood). So to say that Job lost everything, is not an overstatement. His entire world, all that he had known, was entirely ripped out from under him.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Job found himself also afflicted by a terrible illness; boils and painful sores covered his body. Not only was his physical body in pain, but his mental health was put to the test as well with his nagging wife that was constantly berating him and hurling insults at him seemingly unconcerned about him or his mental misery and suffering.
At the news of their friend’s dire predicament, three of Job’s friends made the journey to come and see him and to talk with him. At first when they arrived, they sat in silence, not speaking to Job. It must have been difficult to find the right things to say when they saw him in his state of despair. After a time of silence, they begin to speak what they had been ruminating about Job’s misfortunes.
They leveled some scathing charges against Job and God, both of whom were offended as a result of their conclusions. They believed Job had committed some heinous sin, and that the hardships he was suffering were proof of his guilt. They presented God as furious and judgmental of Job when, in fact, He was not. No doubt the friends were taken aback by this revelation from God. They believed God was in agreement with their analysis, but they were very much mistaken.
In the end of the book, we learn that God restores Job’s bodily health, mental well-being, and gives him a new family. God commanded Job’s friends to sacrifice burnt offerings to make atonement for their sin, and to humble themselves. Then he tells them to ask Job to pray for them.
Although Job’s response to the situation is never described, it is important to note that he does pray for his friends, but there is no record of the discussion he had with them after the LORD had rebuked their behavior. Consider how easy it would have been for Job to tell them off and say, “See? I was right all along! You were wrong!”
When someone has wronged us, we often take pleasure in seeing them punished for their actions. This human nature. But for his part, Job demonstrates how we should treat friends who have wronged us. We should seek God and humbly ask Him to forgive them, and help us to love them in the same manner that God loves us.
God, When I see someone else do wrong, I confess my my own pride as I tend to think I’m better than them but, the truth is, I am not. So, I also humbly pray for (name). Please forgive them and show them Your ways, and help me to love them with Your love.