Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Lessons Of Job, part 6
With friends like these…

Job 2:13 Then they sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights. No one spoke a word to him because they saw that his pain was very great.

Rabbi Trail:  Those who sat with Job are frequently described as “Job’s friends.”  The Hebrew word Ray’ah (Resh-Ayin) is also translated as “other fellows, companions, or another (as in one another).”  It is widely translated in Proverbs as “friend.”  The Hebrew New Testament uses another word, “Yedid,” in John 15:13, quoting Yeshua.  John 15:13 No one has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.  All this to say, we should be careful who we call a friend, and only use that term for those who have earned it.  Proverbs 17:17 A friend (Ray’ah) loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  End RT.

Job’s companions got off to a great start.  They just sat with him without speaking.  Although Job lived well before the establishment of Jewish culture, Job and his friends were practicing “Shiva.”

Rabbi Trail: “Shiva” is a Jewish custom of grieving.  For seven days (Shiva means seven) the bereaved immediate family members don’t leave their home.  While at home they grieve intently and pray, being visited by extended family members and friends.  After those first seven days, a less intense period of grief, called “Sh’loshim,”continues for a total of thirty days.  (Sh’lomshim means thirty.)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva_(Judaism)  End RT.

Job’s companions were practicing another ministry we now call “ministry of presence.”  It is one of the first things I was taught as a police chaplain.  There are times when no words are possible because anything one might say would be inadequate or inappropriate.  At those times, you’re just present and silent.  Unfortunately, Job’s friends felt the need to offer their opinions.  Because of their prideful self-righteousness, they become deluded into fabricating lies.  In general, they missed God (Who later rebuked them).  Proverbs 10:19 When words abound, transgression is unavoidable, but whoever restrains his lips is wise.

As Job persisted through his crisis, he needed friends who would stand with him.  These friends were not those friends.  The Lord had this to say… Job 42:7b Adonai said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken about Me what is right, like My servant Job has.

One last important principle.  God gave them a path to reconciliation, and that path included Job praying for them.  Job 42:8b My servant Job will pray for you, for I will accept Job’s prayer.  The take-away principle here is that when we must bring correction in someone’s life, we must include a path to restoration and reconciliation.  If not, we are not reflecting the true nature of Yeshua’s character.  Job 42:10 So Adonai restored what Job had lost, after he prayed for his friends and Adonai doubled everything that Job had before.  

Yeshua’s mission is to restore that which was lost.  What was lost (in the Garden) is relationship with God.  This is restored by the atonement of Yeshua, and what shall separate us from this inheritance?  NOTHING! Romans 8:37 But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  Receive it in the name of Yeshua.  Amen.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
20 Sh’vat Tuesday 30-Jan-24
Exodus 18:24-27 1 Kings9 Psalm 100 Luke 23:26-56 1 Thessalonians 5