He shaved his head, ripped his clothing and went into mourning. His three closest friends mourned with him, sitting silently for seven days.
When Job finally spoke, he cursed the day he was born. His friends, however, had their own ideas about Job’s problems. One believed that Job was being punished for unrepented sin. Another believed that Job had exhibited evil behavior and should have endeavoured to be more righteous. Still, another believed that Job likely deserved far greater punishment than that which he had already received. With friends like that…
Job defended his innocence to his friends and proclaimed that there is a Redeemer in heaven who would vouch for him (Job 16:19, 19:25). He longed for an intercessor, someone to speak to God on his behalf. Amazing, isn’t it, that this man of God, who lived perhaps 600 years before Christ, could so succinctly sum up the role of Christ, who now sits at the right side of His Father.
There are many lessons and insights to be gleaned from the book of Job, and one that is often overlooked is this: Job turned to his friends for help, and they were no help at all; instead, they frustrated him. Yet, he stood beside them, and reminded them that he was a better friend to them than they were to him. In the end, Job stood alone and even defended his friends before God.
Job’s patience is often the topic of discussion, but it is his faith that we should learn from. He trusted in God before there was a Bible to read. He believed in a Redeemer before mankind had been redeemed. And, he had faith that if he trusted in God, God would remain faithful to him.
We worship a God of infinite might and never-ending mercy, and His Spirit lives in the heart of every one of His children, given to us so that we may experience firsthand that for which Job could only long. He is our Comforter, our never-failing, True Friend. With Christ in our hearts, we never really stand alone.