Sunday, December 22, 2013

Job's Friends - Bildad and Zophar

Today is the final day in our 50th week, reading our Bible through in a year.  If you read this blog regularly, you'll notice that I missed Friday--but one of the beauties in a 5-day reading plan is that if you miss a day, you can make it up later.  So this evening's blog post makes up for Friday.

Our scriptures today are:  Job 8-11; Revelation 12.

Friends are full of all kinds of advice--some of it good, and some of it bad.  Once, a friend told me that I shouldn't even consider renting a particular house.  We did anyway, and for a long time we wished we hadn't.  Another time, a different friend invited me (trusting and inexperienced) to go hunting with him--neglecting to tell me it was illegal in Virginia to hunt on Sundays.  We went, and thankfully, there were no repercussions--either for us, or for the deer that we never saw.  Not all advice that friends give you is good.  Some friendly advice should be followed, and some should not.

Job's friends were also full of advice.  When Job's suffering brought his friends to his side, they had to tell him what they thought about it.  Bildad said that Job should repent of whatever sin he had committed that had brought such trouble on him.  Certainly, Job couldn't be as innocent as he claimed, could he?  Zophar took it a step further, and said that in his guilt, Job actually received better than what he deserved.  

When you're going through tough times, it's good to seek the advice of friends.  Proverbs 15.22 (ESV) says:

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Similarly, Proverbs 11.14 (ESV) says:

 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

But it's important to know whether your friends have godly insight in the matters they're advising you on.  James 1.5-7 (ESV) says that wisdom is a gift from God, and it's there for those who seek it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.

I pray that when you need wisdom, you seek it from the right source.  Listen to your friends, but filter what they have to say through the wisdom that God grants you.  Maybe, unlike Job, you won't take forty-two chapters in order to get to the truth!  

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