Job 2:11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
The one thing that stands out the most to me in this passage is that no one said a word for seven days. Neither Job nor his friends spoke. Though silence may sometimes seem awkward, it can actually be a good thing. We read from the Bible – “Be still and know that I am God.” (see Psalm 46:10)
Be Still Before God
One of the things that I have learned from being with those who are suffering is that sometimes our pain can be so great that we are unable to read scripture or to pray. This can be true for even the greatest of Christians.
I remember once when I was with someone who was grieving. As I listened to them weep, I prayed and asked the Lord what I could do to help. The Lord told me that I could pray for people when they couldn’t pray for themselves. I’m not sure what Job’s friends did during those seven silent days, but hopefully they prayed.
Discover That He is God
Just because there is silence on the outside, that doesn’t mean that there is silence on the inside. Perhaps you will remember the story of Elijah during his time of depression. The Bible says that when the Lord spoke to Elijah, He did so in a small whisper. In order to hear God’s whisper, we have to learn how to be silent.
It is only natural to want to resolve our problems as quickly as possible, yet sometimes the best thing we can do is to be silent before God and wait. What Job needed more than anything else was spiritual strength and such strength can be found only through a deep, personal relationship with the Lord.
I close with these wonderful words from scripture:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling… The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:1-3, 11) (Note – the word ‘Selah’ means: pause and consider this carefully)