Good Words From Good Friends Are Rare

John DeJong

READ : Job 6:14-30

Job has three good friends, temporarily. What happened to make Job’s friends unreliable and dangerous?

Last summer as we were going up to Estes Park, Colorado, we saw a beautiful stream beside the road. It was refreshing to look at, quieting to listen to. A good friend should be like that! Then we saw signs saying, “In case of flood, head for higher ground!” Friends should not be like that!

Eliphaz’s speech contained encouraging words. Twenty-two verses, about half of his discourse, brought encouragement. Twenty- two from the heart. But more than half from a compassionless, critical mind. Think of the difference on Job’s spirit if only encouraging words had been spoken by Eliphaz throughout his dialogue.

Beware when someone says, “this is what God told me to tell you.” Eliphaz tells about his dream. Only one verse (17) is true. All the others are, at best, half truths. Many contradict the words of our Lord Jesus with regard to the meaning of life, our eternal destiny, and what God teaches about life’s experiences. Test the words of anyone who bases advice on a private dream, especially nightmares! Test the spirit of those who would enlighten you. Compare words of human reason with messages from Jesus and His word.

PRAYER

Father, our words are sometimes lethal, sometimes healing. Teach us how to speak. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.