WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psa. 33:12a). May our nation be great because she is good. God bless America.
Read JOB 6
6 Then Job replied:
2 “If only my anguish could be weighed
and all my misery be placed on the scales!
3 It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—
no wonder my words have been impetuous.
4 The arrows of the Almighty are in me,
my spirit drinks in their poison;
God’s terrors are marshaled against me.
5 Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass,
or an ox bellow when it has fodder?
6 Is tasteless food eaten without salt,
or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow[a]?
7 I refuse to touch it;
such food makes me ill.
8 “Oh, that I might have my request,
that God would grant what I hope for,
9 that God would be willing to crush me,
to let loose his hand and cut off my life!
10 Then I would still have this consolation—
my joy in unrelenting pain—
that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 “What strength do I have, that I should still hope?
What prospects, that I should be patient?
12 Do I have the strength of stone?
Is my flesh bronze?
13 Do I have any power to help myself,
now that success has been driven from me?
14 “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend
forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15 But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams,
as the streams that overflow
16 when darkened by thawing ice
and swollen with melting snow,
17 but that stop flowing in the dry season,
and in the heat vanish from their channels.
18 Caravans turn aside from their routes;
they go off into the wasteland and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema look for water,
the traveling merchants of Sheba look in hope.
20 They are distressed, because they had been confident;
they arrive there, only to be disappointed.
21 Now you too have proved to be of no help;
you see something dreadful and are afraid.
22 Have I ever said, ‘Give something on my behalf,
pay a ransom for me from your wealth,
23 deliver me from the hand of the enemy,
rescue me from the clutches of the ruthless’?
24 “Teach me, and I will be quiet;
show me where I have been wrong.
25 How painful are honest words!
But what do your arguments prove?
26 Do you mean to correct what I say,
and treat my desperate words as wind?
27 You would even cast lots for the fatherless
and barter away your friend.
28 “But now be so kind as to look at me.
Would I lie to your face?
29 Relent, do not be unjust;
reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.[b]
30 Is there any wickedness on my lips?
Can my mouth not discern malice?
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another’ (John 13:34).
It’s common in arid places like the Middle East, or parts of southern Europe, to find dry riverbeds, or wadis, which fill with water when there is rain on higher ground or when mountain ice melts. They can bring relief to the parched traveler at times, but are unreliable. Job says that his friends are rather like that (vs 14–17).
Job had previously wished he had never been born (Job 3). Now, having vividly described his distress (vs 1–7), he wishes that God would allow him to die (vs 8–10). It’s not uncommon for people suffering from physical or mental anguish to see the possibility of death as a release.
In such a vulnerable position, he needs acceptance and support, but Job’s friends cannot be relied upon for support (his rebuke is in the plural, even though, so far, only Eliphaz’s words have been recorded). The Hebrew word translated ‘kindness’ in verse 14 is hesed, often translated as ‘steadfast love’. It is the reliable love that God shows.
Job accuses his friends of being afraid (v 21) when they see the state he is in. Has fear ever held you back from helping someone who is going through grief, mental health problems, or physical ill-health (see Psalm 38:11)?
As you consider your friends, is there anyone who needs your friendship and support today?
Blessed Lord Jesus, just like Job there are times when life overwhelms me. I pray that as my days are, so shall my strength be (Deut. 33:25).
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