Job 16: Encouragement Is Powerful
I love the second verse of Job 16. It is so blunt and honest that it made me smile a little bit.
Job 16:2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
So much for comfort! Job is pretty much saying that they failed miserably at their job. If they came to comfort him, they had no idea what comforting was.
Here is how Job said he would have acted if the tables had been turned.
Job 16:4 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.
Job 16:5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
He could do everything that they did, but he said that he would try to strengthen them rather than try to find faults and pick them apart.
This is much more of a Christlike model that would be good for us to follow as well.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
We want to encourage each other, and we want to love each other. Imagine how much easier this would have been for Job if his friends had come alongside him and reminded him that God still had a plan, and God was still in control even though we might not understand.
Imagine if he had heard that rather than constant attacks on his character and assumptions that he must have done something really bad to deserve all of this punishment.
First, he would have heard the truth. God was still there, and God was still in control. Second, he would not have heard falsities. As we know from the beginning of this book, these trials were not a consequence of any particular problem, but they were the result of God allowing Satan to get at Job. He would not have heard all these false statements from his friends if they had taken the approach from Hebrews.
There is a time where we do need to set people on the right path. There is a time when we need to tell them that they are doing something wrong. However, even at these times, we need to act with a spirit of encouragement. We can tell people what they are doing is wrong, but we can do it in such a way that we promote a better way.