I have been an unfaithful and irresponsible blogger lately. Thankfully, now that I am out of school I will have much more time to think, read, and write. However, I will definitely have much to do besides study what I wish to this summer. I am starting somewhat of a new season with support raising for a GCM internship this summer. I will be raising part-time, monthly support and will be serving at h2o Kent church (the church I am apart of now) for the entirety of my senior year. Anyway, more on that later.
I was thinking about Job’s three friends this morning: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. These three friends play a key role in the story of Job. A lot of people know these friends for their accusations against Job, but I have always admired the three friends in one specific moment of Job’s story. At the end of chapter two, Job’s friends embody something so rare, and something so beautiful. Job’s three friends show him complete and utter faithfulness. Chapter 2, verses 11-13 says it all:
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
(Job 2:11-13 ESV)
Job experienced some of the greatest suffering one could ever read about, and his three friends were there to sit with him and weep with him. 7 days? Really? Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar allowed Job to show his emotion and be honest about it. They did not discount or disregard his response to such a travesty. The raw, broken emotion was welcomed and desired by Job’s friends. They did not shy away from the unadulterated emotion that Job was experiencing. They allowed him to engage with and process what he was feeling even if it was not the most glamorous or the most spiritual. And not only did they let him do this, but they joined in with him, and they mourned with Job. What a messy but beautiful scene that is.
I know that such friends are needed in my life, and I am glad to have some like this. I think we all (especially men) need friends to meet us where we are at emotionally and to empathize with our troubles. I am reminded of the promise of God echoed in the New Testament book, Hebrews, when God says “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. I think Job’s three friends were saying this to Job with their presence during those 7 days.