JOB'S COMFORTERS---AND I DON'T MEAN BEDDING!
When Job lost his herds, his family and finally his health, he was in a tough place. Little did he know that the devil had struck a bargain with God, and God allowed the enemy of souls to test and try Job just about any way possible to make him renege on God, turn tail and curse Him.
Instead, Job, who lived righteously before God and even made daily sacrifices on behalf of his children lest they would have sinned and not been atoned for...it was this Job who suddenly in one catastrophe after the other lost everything he owned or possessed, including his good health.
One can lose material wealth and that hurts! But when even the body of flesh ad blood is stricken, in Job's case with multiple boils all over his body, that pain is constant, excruciating and wearing on the emotions and mental state of the victim. Job was suffering!! Even a tiny boil hurts, but the large skin infections he had were swollen, red and feverish, and ready to burst and spew pus all over!
So, to get some relief, Job scraped his arms and legs, his belly and behind, wherever he could reach. It was impossible to sit comfortably or, regardless of his position, to lie down to rest without putting pressure on many boils at the same time, so he didn't get much sleep. Probably he stood on his two feet much of the time. His nerves were frazzled...and then coming down the road he saw three men headed right for where he was!
We're not told in the book of Job just how he knew these men in the first place. Perhaps they were influential in the town, if there was a town. With Job having a reputation for his piety, he may have held a prominent position in the area and was known for that. Whatever their relationship, these men came to comfort Job.
Job was having what the Bible likens to a wilderness experience. To him it felt like God had deserted him. The close fellowship he had had with God seemed to have evaporated. As he looked back on his life to uncover the possible reason for this turn of events, he discovered nothing. So, Job was in a quandry. He didn't have a book named after him to look at to understand his predicament. Little did he realize he was the living example of trust in God that would one day be written for the rest of posterity to read and find helpful in their own wilderness journeys.
For the first week of the friends' arrival, all four men sat in silence. Oh, Job must have moaned with pain. He would have grimaced and clenched his fists when the pain became unbearable, but he never spoke a word to the men who sat mutely before him.
Finally, after they had studied Job for seven days, the friends began to comfort him. And what came from their lips was nothing more than thinly-veiled conclusions of condemnation, guilt and errors Job had committed to bring on his calamity.
Job must have truly contemplated and weighed their words, trying to match them up with what he knew to be true about himself, but to no avail. He countered their arguments with his own declarations of his righteousness. He just couldn't swallow and accept their accusations to be true.
In turn, the friends replied to Job's justifications of himself, and their 'help' was still filled with fault-finding and negativity. After just so long, God had had enough! He stepped in and first faced Job with His own greatness and Job's insignificance in comparison. But in all of it, Job never sinned against God.
The story wraps up with God's vengeance: He doubled the blessings He poured out on Job, replacing his family and his wealth twice as much. God's final order to Job was that he pray for his friends. To pray for those who had brought emotional and mental hurt and misinterpretations meant Job had to forgive his accusers from his heart. And he did!
The friends were blessed only because Job forgave them and then was on praying ground for them. That's how God's vengeance works! When we are wronged innocently, and that can happen even in church, we must forgive those who have hurt us and pray for them.
God's vengeance looks like this then: He doubles the blessing He pours out on you, the one wronged. He's sure you passed the test and will not forsake Him. As for the 'friends,' God is merciful and wants no one to go to hell. Your intercession for your enemies moves God's heart to bring circumstances to bear on their lives that will bring them into fellowship with Him. That is His vengeance in motion.
It is up to God to deal with 'friends.' You side with God in that arrangement. You pray for them. How it turns out is not your responsibility or mine. That rests with God. But that's how He works! His vengeance. Not yours. Not mine. His!