A Return to Job
Many of us have occasionally or often felt like Job: so many troubles, so little support, so much angst. Very honestly, I have not taken out the Bible recently to reread the story, but it is ingrained in all of our memories. And virtually anyone with cancer can easily relate.
This is an introduction to a fabulous piece from Cure Today by Susan Fariss. Please stick with it; the beginning, at least for me, seemed not so good, and that it became wonderful. I love her interpretation and comments about his useless friends and God's eventual intervention.
I've always disliked the Book of Job in the Bible. The idea of God laying a bet with Satan to
test the strength of Job's faith by hurting him and taking away everything that he loves and
cares about is a disturbing idea, to say the least.
But there is one important message I heard in reading the story, and that is the reaction of Job's
friends. Job's life is being whittled away bit by bit — he has lost his crops, his livestock and his
family. He is truly aggrieved. Job's friends live a distance from him, but they come together and
decide to visit Job in order to help him mourn. For the first seven days, they merely sit with
him, quietly. They do not say a word. They support him, let him have his sadness and be there with him in his time of trial.
But finally, they speak. They say it is his fault he has lost so much, because he has sinned. He deserved what he got. And then, after berating him, they begin to give him advice. And they do not stop giving him advice. For pages and pages, they give him advice. Even when Job tells his friends that they are "miserable comforters," they still will not stop giving him advice.
Want to know my favorite part in the Book of Job? After pages and pages and pages of the friends' advice giving, God finally speaks from a whirlwind. He asks Job's friends, "who are you to talk?" And then he tells them to shut up. Best. Moment. Ever.