Friend or Foe?#1. “Old Friends.’

Friend or Foe?#1. “Old Friends.’

I have a funny feeling that the men who came to console Job were actually his dearest ‘Old Friends.’ Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar may not be the ideal poster-boys to promote long-term friendships, but they are as real as it gets when showing how calamity causes a paradigm shift in the order of things. In their eyes Job went from being the man who was most blessed of God, to being the man who was most cursed. So, who else but Old Friends would feel compelled to sit in a circle and mercilessly bombard this ‘fallen friend’ with accusing discourses that question his integrity?

It is on those nice sunny days that people celebrate most of those friendships that have endured over the years. I can imagine that when God had restored Job’s good fortune, that Job and his friends laughed about the foolish things that they had spoken about during his worst of times.

As much as I believe that I am blessed beyond measure with some Old Friends, I don’t take them for granted. The love that runs deep still requires behaviour appropriate to the person concerned. Job’s friends got in trouble because they crossed lines. Though sincere in their conviction that they knew what was best for Job, their conclusions were based upon their false belief that God would not have removed Job’s blessings unless Job had secretly sinned in his heart.

With poor judgement being so prevalent, it necessitates that a good measure of forgiveness must be applied if friendships are to endure and grow.

Praise God for my long-suffering friends. I am truly blessed.

John Staiger


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