Three of Job’s friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him.
Each traveled from his own country—
Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—
and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him.
When they first caught sight of him,
they couldn’t believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him!
They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt
on their heads as a sign of their grief.
Then they sat with him on the ground.
Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word.
They could see how rotten he felt,
how deeply he was suffering.
JOB 2:11-13 (THE MESSAGE)
The best encouragement that Job received from his friends was given in the first seven days and nights when they sat there without saying a word. Scripture encourages us to …
“… weep with those who weep.“
Which is exactly what they did and Job was encouraged but his discouragement began when they ended their silence and weeping and decided to speak and give reasons for his suffering.
“I’ve had all I can take of your talk.
What a bunch of miserable comforters!
Is there no end to your windbag speeches?
What’s your problem that you go on and on like this?
If you were in my shoes,
I could talk just like you.
I could put together a terrific harangue
and really let you have it.
But I’d never do that. I’d console and comfort,
make things better, not worse!”
JOB 16:1-5 (THE MESSAGE)
Like Job’s encouragers, many of us feel that we have to have answers for our hurting friends. Maybe because …
We are a “teller” society.
We have never discovered the power of the ear.
When someone tells us his/her problems
we think we must have an answer.
If we have no answer we …
either give shallow answers or just run from the question.
Or perhaps …
Perhaps to defend God’s honor,
Or to try to make some sense of what has happened
Or simply to put the whole thing in the past,
Most would-be comforters are convinced that something must be said.
But the truth is that more times than not – we do not have the answers to our friends suffering. But the good news is that you don’t have to and remember …
Even fools seem to be wise if they keep quiet;
if they don’t speak, they appear to understand.
On the journey with you,
Dave & Jan Dravecky