What kind of people are we? We blame other people when they suffer. We say that this person has committed some serious sin against God. When we fall in some hardship, we blame God. What kind of God are you? Without any reason You have put me in this trouble.
We all go through one or another kind of hardship. But when we see someone else surrounded by hardship then unconsciously, without any thinking, the first thought which strikes our mind is that he must have done something wrong. He must have committed a grievous sin. That is why he is facing these consequences. That is why we do not want to help him, nor do we comfort him but we criticize him and keep on doing such things.
When the disciples saw the man who was born blind, they questioned the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”(John 9:2, KJV).
The three friends of Job came to comfort him when they knew about his tragedy and suffering. We read,
“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him” (Job 2:11).
What were the steps, they took for the help and encouragement of their friend?
First step: They moved from their specific places.
Second step: They made an agreement among themselves.
Third step: They will cry with him.
Fourth step: We will comfort him.
Without a doubt, our Lord Jesus Christ is the Chief Physician. He came upon the tomb of Lazarus, and he wept, although He knew that he has the power and authority to raise Lazarus from the dead and he did so.
It is very important that when see any person in crisis and hardship, we should not have the attitude to blame him, even if a person is in reality fallen on hardship due to his sins, even then we should help him to come out of that difficulty with love, tenderness and advice. We should not blame him or leave him there. This is not a Christian attitude. Remember if we do not help him and guide him at this moment, how will he know the love and care of God? It is possible, due to such a negative attitude from God’s people, that he may never trust God.
The woman who was caught in adultery was forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ said to the scribes and Pharisees, “Anyone who has never committed sin let him stone her first.” They all were ashamed, and left. Only the Lord Jesus Christ met this sinless “norm” and could stone this woman. He never committed sin. But instead, with kindness and love, he forgave the woman.
“…… And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more”
We are very active in accusing others but we forget to look into ourselves. None of us is righteous, not even one.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).
“The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net”
Indeed, three friends of Job made an agreement among themselves. They travelled a long way for a special purpose. But it is very sad that after they kept quiet for seven days, after mourning with Job, they opened their mouths. In spite of comfort, their lips delivered the sentence of blame, criticism and accusation.
“And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven” (Job 2:12).
“So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great”(Job 2:13).
Certainly at this point they became a source of comfort and encouragement for Job, as long as they were silent and listened to his points. But when they spoke, they accused Job bitterly.
The blames of the three friends of Job.
The blame of the first friendphaz the Temanite.
The first friend phaz the Temanite says;
“Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.” (Job 4:8 KJV)
“By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.” (Job 4:9 KJV)
His thesis was that all this suffering is only the result of your sin.
The blame of the second friend Bildad the Shuhite.
Job responded to phaz in chapter six and seven. Hearing the view point of Job, his second friend Bildad the Shuhite said;
“How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?” (Job 8:2 KJV)
“Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?”
(Job 8:3 KJV)
“If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;” (Job 8:4 KJV)
“If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;” (Job 8:5 KJV)
“If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.” (Job 8:6 KJV)
The blame of the third friend Zophar the Naamathite:
Now just see that how the third friend accuses him.
Although these three friends made an agreement that we will comfort Job.
Then Zophar the Naamathite said to Job:
“Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified?” (Job 11:2 KJV)
“Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?” (Job 11:3 KJV)
“For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.” (Job 11:4 KJV)
“But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;” (Job 11:5 KJV)
“And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.” (Job 11:6 KJV)
Let us see that when these three friends spoke so hard and harsh and Job heard it. Then what kind of words Job used?
“But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.”(Job 13:4 KJV)
“O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.”(Job 13:5 KJV)
It is very sad that servants of God, who are the spiritual physicians sometimes when it comes to comfort others, they prove themselves to be foolish physicians. They have the same words for a person who is fallen in the difficulties which Job’s friend had.
These words do not put bandage and ointment on the wounded person but make him more wounded.
Let us follow these steps and become a person who can give real and divine comfort.
(a) Let us talk less and listen more.
When we go to comfort some person that we must make an agreement with ourselves that we will talk less and listen to other person. Trust me, if you carefully with full attention and peacefully listen the pain and miseries of other person, then his half suffering will be gone because he has shared his pains and agony with you. Sometimes our talking and criticizing other person makes him worse.
(b) We should not act as accusers but comforters. It is the task of the devil.
The task of God is to give peace and comfort. Lord Jesus Christ said;
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mat 11:28 KJV)
Just think for a while, whom do you represent?
(c) Contemplate on your sufferings.
It is very important that we should think about our sufferings and hardships. God allows us to go through sufferings and after that he comforts us that we could be a source of comfort to others.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;” (2Co 1:3 KJV)
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2Co 1:4 KJV)
(d) More and more use the Word of God.
“In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psa 94:19 KJV)
Through the Word of God comfort others and introduce them to the promises of God.
Lord may grant us his grace that we should not be proved, “foolish Physicians” but as being the people of God. We may become a true source of true peace, true comfort, true joy and true encouragement.
Pastor Robinson Samuel Gill