(Lessons in The Book of Job) Choose your friends wisely

prayer-groupNow when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him

They came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite

And they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him

When they lifted up their eyes at a distance and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept

And each of them tore his robe and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky

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

Job 2:11-13

In these passages of Scripture, we see when Job’s three friends hear about all his adversity, with good intentions:

  • they make an appointment with each other, to get together and come offer him both sympathy and comfort
  • they mourn greatly when they first see their friend, because they barely recognize him due to his physical condition
  • they sit with him for seven days and seven nights without speaking a word, witnessing how greatly he is suffering

However their good intentions go awry, and they eventually become:

  • his accusers, (accusing him of wrongdoing―Job 19:1-4)
  • his scoffers (expressing doubt about his integrity and righteousness―Job 16:20)
  • his persecutors (causing him more suffering with their words against him―Job 19:21-22)
  • his condemners (declaring him guilty of wrongdoing―Job 32:3).

How did these three friends turn from comforters to torturers, especially in the midst of his great suffering? They made the same mistake many make:

  • they judged Job’s situation according to the flesh (Jhn 8:15), which is a standard that only considers outward appearances (1 Sam 16:7, John 7:24)
  • they trusted in their own understanding to assess Job’s situation (Pro 3:5, Luke 13:1-5) instead of inquiring of our Beloved LORD GOD through prayer (1 Sam 23:1-5, 2 Sam 21:1, Isaiah 11:3-4)
  • they did not really know our compassionate GOD nor understand HIS WORD (Mic 4:12), therefore they thought and spoke in error of HIM and about what happened to Job and his children (Job 42:7, Job 4:7-9, Job 8:4, Jhn 8:19, Jhn 16:1-4)

What standards should we use in choosing friends? Simply use the standards our Beloved ABBA FATHER set for us in HIS WORD:

  • Do choose:
    • the faithful who have an intimate relationship with our GOD (Psa 119:30-32, Psa 119:63, Pro 13:20-Pro 14:16) and obey HIM consistently (Num 14:24, Jhn 4:34, Jhn 8:29, Act 13:22)
    • the obedient who are willing to obey HIS WORD no matter the cost (Num 14:6-9, Dan 1:5-20, Dan 3:12-18)
    • the intercessors who are willing to pray for you (Rom 1:9-11, Eph 6:18, Col 1:9-12) and pray with you (Dan 2:17-19, Jam 5:16)
    • those who faithfully go to GOD’s House and encourage others to do so also  (Psa 95:1-8, Psa 122:1, Heb 10:25)
    • those who love The LORD or obey HIS WORD (Psa 119:63, Jhn 14:21, 1 Jhn 5:3)
  • Do not choose:
    • the wicked an ungodly person who is hostile to GOD (Psa 26:4-5, Psa 36:1-4, Psa 139:19-22, Jude 1:15)
    • sinners a person who does not obey The WORD of GOD (Pro 14:7-9, Mat 7:21-23, Luk 6:46, 1 Jhn 3:4)
    • scoffers:
      • a person who scorns GOD and HIS servants (2 Chr 30:6-10, Luk 6:22)
      • a person who scorns the truthfulness of HIS WORD (Gen 3:1-5, Isa 5:18-19, Eze 12:21-28)
      • a person who mocks both GOD and HIS WORD (2 Pet 3:3-4, Jude 1:18)
    • one who claims to be a believer, yet engages in sexual immorality, is greedy, worships idols of the world, is abusive, gets drunk, and steals (1 Cor 5:9-13)
    • idolaters a person who serves other gods (Deu 13:6-11, Mat 6:24)
    • slanderers a person who lies/makes false statements about another in order to hurt their reputation (Psa 15:3, Psa 50:19-20, Psa 101:5, Pro 10:18, Pro 20:19)
    • gossips a person who reveals personal or secret information about another (Pro 11:13, Pro 21:23, 1 Tim 5:13, Jam 3:2-12)
    • quick tempered a person who is easily angered (Pro 22:24-25, Pro 29:11, Pro 29:22)
    • lovers of the world and the things in it (Rom 12:1-2, Jam 4:4, 1 Jhn 2:15-17)

 

Do not be deceived

“Bad company corrupts good morals.”

1 Corinthians 15:33

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