Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place; Eliphaz…Bildad…and Zophar... Job 2:11 (NKJV)
When we think of the suffering of Job, we tend to confine it to the events that occur in the first couple of chapters. His property and children are all taken away, his health suddenly deteriorates as his skin breaks out with boils from head to toe. And then, on top of it all, his wife advises him to curse God and die!
There’s no downplaying these sufferings. But what we often fail to recognize is that Job’s suffering goes on for several more chapters at the hands of three “friends.” Their names are Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, and they try to make sense of why this calamity has broken out in Job’s life.
For the majority of the book, it’s one verbal assault and accusation after another. “Job, there must be some secret sin in your life. Come on Job, just repent and all this will end. Job, when are you going to stop this charade that you’re an upright man?” This was the last thing Job needed in his time of trial.
But what these companions couldn’t see was that Job wasn’t reaping the consequences of some hidden sin. God actually allowed these trials to take place, not to punish Job, but to refine his trust and establish him as an example for thousands of years to come. Again, the so-called friends didn’t see that. All they saw was what was in front of them, and they rushed ahead with their earth-bound conclusions.
Sometimes, God wants us to speak into the lives of others. But there are also times when it’s better for us to stay silent. If we’re not sure why someone is going through something, instead of trying to make sense of it all through our own limited wisdom, we need to drop to our knees and seek God’s wisdom on how best to help. Perhaps the best way to show support is by silently standing with him or her.
Think About It…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)
Consistency breeds security. If you're an employer, you take comfort in knowing that you have consistent employees working for you. If your car needs to be fixed, you're going to take it to a mechanic who has consistently performed well. And if you're a coach, you'll probably draw up a play at the end of a tight game that puts the ball in the hands of your best and most consistent player.