Pray it forward
“After Job had prayed for his friends,
the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
The Story of Job Job was a man who the bible described as “blameless and upright,” so much so that God pointed him out to Satan, from all the other men on earth, as a man unlike any other on earth. Job had vast earthly possessions, more than anyone on earth at that time. Job also had friends – three in particular that scripture describes. For many of us, what we think we know about Job’s friends may not be flattering. However, I think we may be too critical. Here’s a Quick Rundown
Job’s friends came to him as soon as Job’s friends hear about his trouble, they immediately stopped what they’re doing and go to Job.
Job’s friends comforted him in Job 2:12 we read that when Job’s friends saw his pitiful condition they cried for him, they mourned with him, and they stayed with him for seven days.
Job’s friends confronted him beginning in Job chapter 4, and for the chapters that follow, there are many conversations between Job and his friends. In the beginning Job’s friends gently questioned Job about his situation, hoping to help him identify the sin that had to be the source of his troubles. Over time though, they become more judgmental, accuse Job of sinning against God, and bringing God’s judgment on himself and his family.
In my opinion, Job’s friends were trying to be true friends. They loved and cared about him, sacrificed margin for him, and were sincere in their attempt to help him address, what they concluded was, a spiritual blind spot. Fast Forward to Chapter 42 “After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and your two friends. For you have not spoken about Me accurately, as My servant Job has. So now, take seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. Then My servant Job will pray for you, for I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken accurately about Me, as My servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD had told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s request. In the chapters leading up to chapter 42, as Job despairs and accuses God of being unfair. God teaches Job important lessons about who He is and who Job is, and in the first few verses of chapter 42 Job finally humbles himself before God and repents. God restores fellowship with Job then God turns his attention to Job’s friends. In 42:7-8 we see that God was angry with the three men because they had misrepresented Him. Verses 9-10 “So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD had told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s request. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10 Conclusions When Job’s friends repented and obeyed God, and Job prayed for them as God instructed, God answered Job’s prayer.
We need other men who will pray for us – it was God’s desire that Job pray for his friends.
God should be able to count on us to pray for others – “Then my servant will pray for you.” God knew that Job would be faithful to pray.
When Job Prayed, God Responded
God wanted Job to pray for his friends so that He could forgive them, and perhaps as part of the restoration of the men’s friendships. God is not reluctant to answer our prayers…He is anxious and waiting to restore us!
God blessed Job when Job blessed (prayed for) others – Like Jesus, we should make others our priority.
We All Need Praying Friends Try this….when you interact with your friends, ask them; “How can I pray for you today?” Then, be faithful to lift them up to the Lord. It will strengthen your friendships and God will bless you and them.
Larry Martin MD5 Lab Facilitator