…miserable comforters are ye all.

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.  But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.

Job 16:2b, 4-5

Job’s friends were “miserable comforters.”  They saw Job in his distress, and, instead of helping, comforting and encouraging him, they piled on him – accusing him of sin and telling him how angry God was with him. 

In these verses, Job says that, if their roles were reversed, he could be like them.  He could point out all of their faults and flaws.  He could accuse them of being hypocrites.  Basically, he could kick them while they were down; as they had done to him.  But, being the righteous man that he was, Job says that he would not do that.

Instead, in verse 5, he tells them that he would strengthen them with his mouth and “asswage” their grief with his speech.  I don’t know why, but I like the word “asswage”; it means simply to settle down or to subside.  Job is telling his friends that he would want to help them, encourage them and calm their grief.  That should be the way we treat others.  We should not be looking to pass judgment on people, but we should be looking to help them.  The best way to help anyone is to point them to Jesus.  Whatever it is that they may be going through, He is always the answer. 

Are we going to live our lives like Job’s friends or are we going to live like Job.  Are we going to be encouragers or discouragers?  Are we going to kick people while they are down or are we going to help them get back up?  These are good things to think about and remember!

4 responses to this post.

  1. I liked this post. You know this morning when I first got up I was thinking about the old saying “To have a friend you’ve got to be a friend.”. Ben, that is exactly what you and some of the other bloggers I read do. You write posts that gently persuade us to turn to Christ and to obediently follow Him, and you also remind us that we are loved by Him. Thank you !


  2. Aahh, Theresa, that was so beautiful. As is this post, Ben! It is so easy to adopt a critical spirit. To think we know what the problem is with someone else. To diagnose. We can’t go wrong if we just have compassion and let the Holy Spirit do any convicting that needs done. 🙂 Thank you and God bless! 🙂


    • It is easy to adopt a critical spirit. I think that sometimes there is a small part of us that actually enjoys seeing people have problems because it make us look “better.” But that is never the right attitude. And it’s easy to think that we have the answers for everybody else’s problems, but that’s just pride. Anyway, you can never go wrong by encouraging people and pointing them to Jesus!


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