Job 6:27 – Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
Job 13:4 – But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.
Job 16:2 – I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
Hello readers, today I am going to be talking about Job’s three friends. I love the book of Job, but often I get nothing out of it. But when you read the Bible, you put yourself in a position for God to throw you a crumb every now and again. This book is loaded with truth relevant to today. I was particularly thinking about Job calling his friends “miserable comforters”. There is a lot of miserable comfort in this world and in churches today. Miserable comfort, because it’s not real comfort, because it can’t be, it’s not based on a true idea and representation of who God is and what God is doing and has done based on his word. You ever been on the receiving end of miserable comfort? Someone trying to help, but having no help to offer?
I often have found myself siding with Job’s friends when I read the book, but as I’ve gone along in life, and as I’ve read the book, I side with them less and less. Job said four big statements about his friends, he said they were digging a pit for their friend, forgers of lies, physicians of no value and miserable comforters. They’re pretty big statements aren’t they. If I called you that, you’d likely be offended. And Job’s friends were, make no mistake about that. It didn’t take much for their pride to surface. I mean, for people claiming to be friends and wanting to help, just read what they were saying. Some help. But why did Job say that? And was what Job was saying right?
Well, the answer is yes. One of the most important things to understand when reading the dialogue between Job and his friends is what God said about it at the end. Job 42:7 – “And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” Well that’s pretty conclusive isn’t it. Job’s friends had the wrath of God on them at the end of all of this, and it was Job’s prayer that delivered them. So who had the others best at heart more really? Be careful what you say about God to others, because as James said, be not many masters, knowing we shall have the greater condemnation. When you speak on behalf of God, you better make sure what you’re saying is right. If you don’t know God, how can you speak on behalf of him?
The problem is, Job’s friends completely misrepresented God to Job. A lot of people speak on behalf of God, but they speak wrong. And I thought about these things that Job said of his friends during their dialogue. They’d come to help apparently, but as I’ve read the book of Job, I can see more and more that Satan didn’t disappear after Job 2. Satan used Job’s friends. Satan is in the business of manipulating and wresting truth. It appears to me that Job’s friends were jealous of him, they were envious… and now he’s in the pits while they’ve got life made, and that makes them feel pretty good about themselves. See, people who seem to have their life in order take that as validation of their relationship with God, but that is not always so. Job was in his position in life because he was right with God. God doesn’t do things like man does things. God isn’t like us. But his friends had a God like them. The sin we often commit is degrading God to our level of understanding. And people have done that when they rewrote the Bible, telling God what he meant. How can you revise his word when his thoughts are not your thoughts and his ways not our ways?
They weren’t really Job’s friends, and they couldn’t be either. Someone might want to be a friend to you, and may think they’re a friend to you, but they cannot be a friend to you if they’re not right with God themselves. A person that does not know God, and that is not right with God, cannot truly be your friend. And you know, this world doesn’t lack for people claiming to be your friend, and claiming to want to help and have your best at heart. But did you know that the best this world and religion can offer you is miserable comfort? I was thinking about all the “help” programs in our land. The help for alcoholics, and addicts and this and that and everything else. How much help are the government and church help and outreach programs really doing? It’s miserable comfort, because it never really helps people that need help that comes from a right representation of truth, a help grounded in the word of God. They are a miserable comfort.
The fact is, Job had been doing right when this came upon him. It wasn’t he was so good, but there is value to obeying and honouring God in your life. There is a point to obeying God. Otherwise why bother? If my life makes no difference either way, why would I bother. And Job was and had been. That was God’s witness of Job. God wasn’t punishing Job for disobeying him. And it wasn’t Job wanted his friends to say nice things to him, he wanted them to tell him the TRUTH in his darkest hour. Job wasn’t after a prosperity gospel, and his friends telling him everything’s ok if it wasn’t, Job just wanted the truth. Telling people it’s ok when it’s not is not helpful. If you see a pit that your friend is going to step in, it’s not helpful to not offend him by not warning him. But instead, Job’s friends were digging that pit for him. While Satan is trying to corrupt your faith, your Bible, your Saviour and your salvation… God is using trials and tribulations of life to build and prove and purify your faith. A faith not tested is a faith you don’t know the worth of. Many children grow up in Christian homes and they’ve got a faith that’s worth nothing. As soon as they get the chance, they go astray.
In your darkest hour, you’ll need and want the truth. Lies are worthless when you’re in trouble. It’s a wonder we surround ourselves with lies that make us feel good but none of it is real. When the bad times come, if all you’ve set yourself up with and surrounded yourself with is lies and false friends, that’ll be scant comfort when your world blows up. The Bible says in Job 27:21 “and as a storm hurleth him out of his place.” That storm can really shake your life up, but it is in the storm where you find out just how stable your place really was. Maybe you need a blessed storm to hurl you out of that place of lies and fakery in life. So Job was looking for God in this trial. People often turn to God when something bad happens. But he’d been turned to God his whole life. So this was strange to him, God was strange to him. Where is God in this thing? Knowing you’re right with God is very big when you’re going through trials and facing death. It’s much easier to face hard times when you know you’re right with God.
And we can have comfort for the trials and tribulations that we go through. His name is the Holy Spirit, and his Word is the Holy Bible. Sometimes all we will have is everything’s gone and done and ash, but we’ve got the truth of who God is to hang on to. Job’s friends couldn’t even give him that. The Holy Spirit and the word of truth don’t just disappear when times get tough. That’s when we value him the most. We have truth for our trial. We have truth to understand what’s going on, and we know God’s character so we can trust him for what we are going through. We can trust the promises of God, upon which our salvation hinges.
Can you provide true comfort to someone? Comfort isn’t found in lies. Comfort isn’t found in partial truths. Most people have some concept of who God is, and they have elements of truth, but they don’t know God at all. Satan used a true verse in the Bible to tempt Jesus Christ. It’s not enough to have a forger of who Christ is, it’s not enough to have a part truth. And most Christians today are divided in themselves and against themselves. They don’t believe Genesis 1 yet claim to be saved. They don’t like the God of the Old Testament, even though Jesus Christ is as much the God of the Old as the New. You go to a church and you get an emphasis on one character trait of God which may be right in and of itself, for instance, God is love. Job’s friends had some part truths right about God, yet they didn’t know who he was at all. Yes God is perfect and righteous and holy and will destroy the wicked, and yet God was angry with them. Many modern churches are exactly like Job’s friends. They seem to say some right things, yet they’re all of what Job said they were. But you can read Job’s friends and you think, well boy, that sounds pretty right. Yet it wasn’t right at all and God said, they have not spoken OF ME the thing that is right.
You can go to churches today and all you will get is miserable comfort. They claim to be your friend. They claim to love you. They claim to want to help. But they are unable to do so. It is so important to have the right doctrine, something modern churches emphasize pride in not having, because without the right understanding of who God is, the gospel of Jesus Christ, you are unable to be of value to anyone who needs and desires something of value.
Forgers of lies. Webster’s 1828 defines forger as “one that makes or forms” and “one who counterfeits; a falsifier”. You know, the entire modern church movement is a forgery. They have a Jesus they’ve forged who is not the God of the Bible. They’ve just made up their Jesus, and they’re making up truth according to them. Their Jesus cannot save you, because he’s not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible, and God doesn’t honour a pack of lies. You may know things that are true, yet be lost and dead in your sins. You can have parts of the truth, you can say God and Jesus, you can do church, and be as lost and useless as these three friends. Satan knows the truth, he used parts of the truth of Jesus, but it doesn’t make him saved and he’s going to hell.
Jesus is the Physician in the Bible. And as believers, we are also physicians on his behalf. We should have something to offer that can be helpful and comforting based on truth. We should be able to truly and honestly represent God to someone. In fact, we are commanded to do so. But we can only represent the gospel of Jesus Christ rightly when we are in the word of God, know the word of God, and point people to God’s word.
And without truth of God’s word, you are just digging a pit for someone to fall in. When you tell someone something that is not true, you are putting a pit in their path which they’re liable to fall in and not get out of. That’s pretty serious business. How many people are putting a pit in the path of someone or people that claim to love and have the best interests at heart. Picture yourself walking along and someone just ahead of you around the corner has dug a deep pit where you will be walking and covered it over with some leaves and you’re going to fall in and break your leg and die down there. You’re setting up someone to fall. And in this world, there’s plenty of those type friends. There’s plenty of advice and wisdom and philosophy and counsel and even with a religious garb that seems right that’s going to leave you in a pit. Imagine a doctor who can’t help you with that problem you’ve got. Job’s friends didn’t offer any value to Job. They couldn’t and didn’t. The best they could say was, Job you just gotta try harder and do better. The gospel isn’t doing better, I can’t do better! And Job was already doing best!
True comfort and friendship comes from a right idea of who God is based on who he is in his word. There was nothing in Job’s friends about God’s mercy and grace and redemption. See, Job had some semblance of an idea that being right with God took sacrifice. He was even offering sacrifices to God for his own children. He rubbished their wisdom and then they got offended and began trying to whittle his faith and life and hope away to nothing. But my hope in the Lord Jesus Christ is an incorruptible hope, and so was Job’s. I know that my redeemer liveth. Job had a redeemer, the three friends didn’t need a redeemer, they were already doing it right. They were performing for themselves because they thought they had some righteousness to offer God, which they didn’t and none of us do. Jesus is the only way to know God, and the only way to God.
Job’s friends were wise in their own eyes and self righteous and proud. They supposed that gain is godliness. Turns out just because you’re doing well financially and you’re prospering in life, it doesn’t correlate with spiritual vitality and health at all. Maybe you do not know how wretched and blind and naked you really are. And someone who is self righteous and proud as they were can never be helpful to anyone else. So we best check our self righteousness and pride at the door if we ever want God to use us to help someone else in life. Don’t be a miserable comforter who only has miserable comfort to offer someone in need. Stop with your forgeries of truth, don’t be of no value and stop digging a pit for others. These were four very big things that Job said about his friends, and he was right. May we not fall into these four categories as we seek to help others, but offer no help, no comfort and no solution to their suffering.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)