Summary: Job’s three friends will speak alot of truth but they will also speak alot of error.
If you are experiencing defeat , you will be encouraged by Job’s perseverance in the middle of great suffering. At this point in our study, Job is no longer blessed, and wealthy man. He has lost all his children, wealth and health. His wife is waiting for him to die. And although his friends came to comfort Job, they became speechless at the sight of Job’s devastation.
In our last study, Job finally breaks the silence and begins to talk . Many times, we come across friends who are hurting , but we don’t know how to help. Who will bring comfort to them? Who will comfort those whose pride is wounded, who are lonely, who have lost loved ones or are facing defeat in their marriage, their work or their personal lives? Christians ought to be people who bring comfort to others. At this point we get the first reply of the three friends of Job. One was named Eliphaz, one was Bildad, and the third was Zophar. These friends all come with the same solution to the problem, but they approach it in three distinct ways . Remember that we do not know the spiritual condition of these three men. We do know Job’s condition. “Then the Lord said, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you incited Me against him, to destroy him without just cause.” Job 2:3 (HCSB)
Job’s three friends will speak alot of truth but they will also speak alot of error. What we find in the Bible is inspired – it is there to encourage us and to keep us from false teaching. But there are times when we are exposed to falsehood so that we can discern the truth. The temptation of Jesus is such an example. satan’s discourse is plainly in the scripture – even though His teaching is false. There are many examples in the scripture where false teaching is presented. IE : satan talking with Eve. It is up to us to study the scripture so that we may learnthe truth .
The main theory of Job’s three friends is that God never afflicts a righteous man. Since Job is afflicted – He must be a sinner. We must keep in mind that God has not caused the affliction of Job – but He has allowed it. Many people in New Testament times believed that people suffer because of the sin they committed –either there own or the sin of a family member. See scripture below:
1 As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples questioned Him “ Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “[This came about] so that God’s works might be displayed in him. 4 We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5 (HCSB) Notice that Jesus tells his disciples that neither the parents nor the man caused this problem of blindness. Innocent people suffer. It is a fact of life. On the other hand – it is a fact that all people suffer because of sin. If it was not for the sin in this world there would be no suffering. All people will suffer because of the fall – we can not escape it. Eliphaz is the first speaker & when you hear what he has to say, you will know what these three friends will be saying all through the rest of the book. He starts out first by saying to Job, in effect, "Follow your own advice," Chapter 4: from the message - Then Eliphaz from Teman spoke up: 2 "Would you mind if I said something to you? Under the circumstances it’s hard to keep quiet. 3 You yourself have done this plenty of times, spoken words that clarify, encouraged those who were about to quit. 4 Your words have put stumbling people on their feet, put fresh hope in people about to collapse. 5 But now you’re the one in trouble - you’re hurting! You’ve been hit hard and you’re reeling from the blow. 6 But shouldn’t your devout life give you confidence now? Shouldn’t your exemplary life give you hope? Basically Eliphaz is saying, "Job, you have been a counselor to many people, and you have been able to put your finger on their problem and help them to deal with it. You delivered them, you found the key to what was troubling them and helped them to face up to it. Your turn has come. You’ve been caught in the same kind of problem you have helped others with, so now follow your own advice and you will be relieved." Then Eliphaz goes on to put very plainly just what that problem is, as he sees it, and, in Verses 7-11, you have his basic principle of life: 7 "Think! Has a truly innocent person ever ended up on the scrap heap? Do genuinely upright people ever lose out in the end? 8 It’s my observation that those who plow evil and sow trouble reap evil and trouble. 9 One breath from God and they fall apart, one blast of his anger and there’s nothing left of them.... Eliphaz argument is: the righteous are never punished; only the unrighteous suffer. "Where did you ever see an innocent man perish?" he asks Job. "Where did you ever see an unrighteous man succeed?" His argument is, clearly, that Job’s problem is caused by his own sin, something that Job is hiding. And this will be the basic argument all through the book: "There is something wrong, Job. If you will only admit it you’ll be all right."