In our passage today, we see a continued theme of the frustration of Job against the accusation of his friends. If you have been following along with us as we walk through this book, you are familiar with the back and forth: his friends accuse Job of sin; Job says that his suffering is from God, but not because of his sin.
What is interesting about these verses today is the added details of the isolation that he is feeling as a result from his sin. In verses 13-22, we basically see a list of the different people that have abandoned Job in his suffering. Could it be that they have abandoned him because they too think that he is in sin? Do they not want to get close to him because they think he is cursed? We don’t really know the exact reason why so many people have abandoned him, but I think it does bring up something that we must beware of: we often don’t know how to react when people are walking thought suffering.
If you have ever gone through suffering personally, you might know what I mean. I’m sure there were at least a few times where people at the very least were uncomfortable around you, not knowing what to say; even some well-meaning people might even say something that is at the very least unhelpful. But the truth is that we need to be people who care for people in their time of need.
If you have time as you’re going about your day, I encourage you check out this podcast/article: What Can We Say to Friends Facing Suffering? I hope this gives some practical encouragement for how you personally can be someone who engages suffering people well.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate