Still moving through Job, hitting 14-16 today. Job cries out and asks God again what is going on. His friends? They continue to lay into him, getting a little angry now at how arrogant they think he is being. They started well, sitting silently with him for seven days, not speaking, just hurting with him. But now, they are letting him know what they think. They are giving him their best wisdom, and they are wrong. They think Job has sinned, and hidden it, and that is why he is being punished so. In their minds, that is all it can be. They are letting their theology (what they think they know about God) rule their actions. That isn’t always bad. But in this case, they are wrong.
I guess if you have a trusted friend, who you know loves God, and they tell you they honestly don’t know what is going on, why things are like they are, then don’t play God in their life. The one thing I notice is that none of Job’s friends offer to pray for him. Back at the beginning of the story, we are told that Job regularly prayed for his family and others. His friends never offer that. They don’t take Job to God. They tell Job what they think about God.
If someone is hurting, step up to the bat and pray with them and for them. Jesus is the one who heals, not us. Prayer is so powerful. How different the book of Job would be if one of his friends had looked at him and said, “Dude, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t get it either. But let’s pray and ask God for wisdom and help here.” That would have been a game changer. It never happens.